Individual Baked Rigatoni Pies w/Lamb Ragu!

Prepping the Rigatoni!

A creative recipe test!  Individual Baked Rigatoni Pies w/Lamb Ragu! The original recipe is for a full-size spring form pan and was called Baked Rigatoni Cake!  It has been posted on a few blogs and originated here, I believe. Someone mentioned it on a cooking forum and I liked the idea.  Then I had the brainstorm that it should be reduced to an individual size and served as a first course!  What a great dinner party presentation!

So I set about this experiment using 4 1/2 inch spring form pans. Realizing that the original Rigatoni was standing up in and larger, deeper pan I started shopping for dried rigatoni packages trying to imagine how big they’d be after cooked!  De Cecco Rigatoni is my go-to brand but looked too big, they also make Mezze Rigatoni, which are half the size and looked too small!  I stumbled upon Colavita’s Bags of Rigatoni and it appeared to be between the two sizes, so I bought a bag of it.

After boiling the rigatoni I realized that the pieces are very uneven sizes, some bigger some smaller, in the end it turned out to be a minimal problem.

So after cooking the pasta very al dente,  you rinse the pasta in cold water to stop the cooking process and drain. Then dress the macaroni with olive oil and dust with grated Parmesan Cheese.  You can butter the pans, I used vegetable cooking spray.  You painstakingly, stand up each piece of pasta like soldiers in each prepared pan, see the photo above.

Ready to bake!

The next step is to cover the pasta with your favorite meat sauce.  I made Lamb Ragu using ground lamb.  Make sure it’s broken up very small and that you chopped the vegetables very small.  You want to coax a good amount of meat and sauce into the tubes.  Then, as you would with a cake, tap the pans onto the counter top to work more sauce down between the tubes.  Add more sauce as needed.

Bake them on a sheet pan for 15 minutes, in a 400º oven; pull them out and top with grated Mozzarella and more Parmesan, bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Out of the Oven!

Open the spring and remove the collar leaving the Pasta Pie on the base.

Ready to plate!

At this point I moved them to the dinner plate and using a very thin spatula slid them off the base onto the plate intact.

Two errant soldiers fell down!

I napped the side with extra Lamb Ragu and served.  Chopped Mint would have been a great garnish, but I forgot to have it ready!

Plated!

Since we eat with our eyes first, it was very tempting!  And it turned out beautifully, and tasted great, of course the Lamb Ragu was wonderful. We had a salad and it was a very satisfying meal!

Here’s my official Lamb Ragu recipe:
* Exported from MasterCook *

Lamb Ragu

Recipe By     :Chef Jim
Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

Amount  Measure       Ingredient — Preparation Method
——–  ————  ——————————–
2        tablespoons  olive oil
1              pound  lean ground lamb
1           teaspoon  kosher salt — divided
1             medium  onion — very finely chopped
1/2           cup  carrot — very finely chopped
1/2           cup  celery — very finely chopped
1           teaspoon  fresh rosemary — minced
1           teaspoon  fresh thyme — minced
4             cloves  garlic — minced
1/2      teaspoon  red pepper flakes
1         tablespoon  tomato paste
3/4           cup  dry white wine
1/4      teaspoon  ground black pepper
3               cups  canned crushed tomatoes
1                cup  low sodium chicken broth
1/4           cup  small fresh mint leaves

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet  Season lamb with 1/2 salt and pepper add to pan; cook 5 minutes, stirring to crumble into very small pieces. Remove lamb from pan with a slotted spoon;  Discard drippings from pan.  Add 2 tablespoons oil, onion, and carrot and celery; cook 6 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add rosemary, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly or until garlic is lightly browned..

Return lamb to pan and add tomato paste saute for 1 minute; add wine deglaze pan. Increase heat to high; cook for 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add remaining salt and pepper. Stir in crushed tomatoes and broth; bring to a simmer. Partially cover and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Garnish with mint.

Best if made a day ahead, cooled and stored in fridge.  Bring back to simmer to serve over pasta adding a 1/2 cup pasta water.

Source:
“Chef Jim’s Cookbook”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Serving Ideas : Great for any baked pasta recipe, such as Baked Rigatoni Cake or any lasagna.

Nutr. Assoc. : 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

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