- 1–1/2 pounds of rigatoni
- olive oil cooking spray
- 2 – 3 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 cups parmesan, parmiggiano-reggiano, fresh and finely grated
- 2 – 3 cups home-made Bolognese sauce (I use my family’s recipe that I keep tubs of frozen sauce in my freezer)
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 jumbo egg
- 2 tsp. Italian herbs of your choice: dried or freshly minced oregano, Italian parsley, basil, thyme, sage, pepperoncini and/or garlic
- 2 cups finely shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup finely shredded parmesan, parmiggiano-reggiano
- Boil water in a tall, deep pan.
- Add about a half teaspoon of salt to the water.
- When water is boiling, add the rigatoni pasta noodles and boil for only 3 minutes.
- Remove immediately.
- In a large bowl, add the olive oil.
- Then add the rigatoni and toss until all noodles are coated with olive oil.
- Add the 2 cups of parmesan/parmiggiano and toss so that the noodles are covered with cheese.
- Spray the bottom of a small springform pan with olive oil cooking spray.
- Layer a little bit of Bolognese sauce on the bottom of the pan.
- Place the rigatoni noodles vertical around and completely filling the pan.
- Mix ricotta, egg, and herbs.
- Pour this mixture over the panful of noodles.
- Gently tap down so that the mixture can get into and around the noodles.
- Layer Bolognese sauce on top next and again gently tap down to get the sauce in the noodles.
- Sprinkle the mozzarella all over and then sprinkle the parmesan/parmiggiano cheese on top of the mozzarella.
- Place the springform pan on a pizza pan or baking sheet to prevent the cheese from melting all over the oven.
- Bake in a 400 F degree oven for 20 minutes on the lowest rack, and place a pizza pan or baking sheet on the top rack to use as an ‘umbrella’ to help prevent the top of the torta from burning.
- Turn the heat of the oven down to 350 F degrees and bake for another 15 minutes, watching so that the top does not burn.
- Remove from the oven and allow to set for 15 minutes before serving.
- Better yet, let the torta set overnight and reheat the next day. This helps prevent the torta from falling apart just after baking.
- When ready to serve, take a very sharp, thin knife and run it as close to the inside wall of the springform pan ring in order to ‘loosen’ the rigatoni noodles away from the pan walls.
- Slowly and carefully, remove the springform ring.
- With a long knife, run the knife between the bottom of the torta and the bottom of the springform pan base.
- Slice, serve and ENJOY!!!!
- If you don’t have homemade Bolognese sauce on hand, then you can use your favorite pasta sauce with sautee’d beef and pork blended in. But for the real deal . . . use homemade sauce whenever possible.