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Pasta Cake | Cup of Jo

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Pasta cake recipe by Natasha Picowitz

I believe anything tastes better when it’s shaped like a cake and sliced ​​into wedges. Yes, baked ziti stuffed in a casserole dish is good, but sometimes you want a dinner as whimsical and fun as a layer cake covered in flowers and candles. So I ask myself, is it cake?

It turns out that freshly baked pasta turns into a cake. (After all, timpano — giant drum-shaped pasta stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and meatballs — assembled in a culinary classic by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub long night?) The trick is to use hollow cylindrical pasta like ziti or rigatoni. Place this in a springform pan and top with tomato sauce and cheese chunks. This absorbs into the noodles like a thirsty straw. A ribbon of blanched greens seasoned with olive oil and Parmesan cheese is spread throughout, adding freshness and color.

It’s easy to add your own layer cake twists, such as stirring a little crumbled sausage or anchovies into the pasta sauce, or adding a sneaky layer of tender roasted root vegetables tossed with pesto. For me, a fluffy crown of fresh basil adds a sweet and winning touch. Honestly, I eat this over the actual cake any day.

Pasta cake recipe by Natasha Pickowicz

Pasta cake recipe by Natasha Pickowicz

pasta layer cake
6 servings
30 minutes of active time. 45 minutes of inactivity

1 10 oz frozen spinach (or 1 bunch of fresh spinach or kale)
1 pound tubular pasta (such as ziti or rigatoni)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 24 oz tomato sauce jar Lao Spicy Arrabiata)
2 cups canned mashed tomatoes
1 8-ounce bag shredded low-moisture mozzarella
1/2 fresh mozzarella ball (about 4 ounces), thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

If using frozen spinach that has been thawed, use your hands or gauze to squeeze out as much excess water as possible. If using fresh kale or spinach, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and let it boil for 2-3 minutes. Remove greens with tongs and rinse with cold water.

Bring the water to a boil again and cook the pasta until al dente (about 8-9 minutes for rigatoni, 4 minutes less than indicated on the box). Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

Drizzle some olive oil over the bottom and sides of a cheesecake-sized springform pan. Finely chop the spinach or kale and transfer to a small bowl. Add 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, and remaining olive oil and stir until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and set aside. (If you want it spicy, add 1 teaspoon of chili flakes.)

Combine the tomato sauce and mashed tomatoes in another small bowl (the mashed tomatoes perk up the jarred sauce and give it the perfect consistency for a juicy cake).

Arrange the cooked pasta in the bottom of a greased springform pan. Hold each piece upright, like a candle. (Start by lining the edges of the pan where the springform walls allow the pasta to stand upright). Continue adding pasta until the entire bottom is covered.

Spoon half of the tomato sauce over the pasta. Gently tap the cake pan against the counter so that the sauce falls between all the pasta.

Top with half of the finely chopped mozzarella and the rest of the grated Parmesan cheese. Spoon the seasoned vegetables over the cheese and arrange the remaining pasta in pinwheel shapes or rows.

Finally, top with the remaining tomato sauce and top with the remaining grated mozzarella cheese. Finish the cake with sliced ​​mozzarella cheese. (At this point, you can wrap the cake tin tightly and transfer to the freezer for up to a month).

Place the springform pan on a baking sheet or casserole dish (to catch any leaking sauce) and transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is bubbly and golden brown.

Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the butter knife around the side of the pan and carefully remove the springform collar. Slice into wedges and serve.

Melting pasta cake

Natasha Picowitz Brooklyn-based chef and writer best known for his pastry pop-ups endless taste and her community bake saleit gives her Time100 next listNatasha’s debut cookbook, which weaves stories of her family, social justice and food history into her baking recipes, is out this spring.you can Click here to pre-orderif you please.

PS Natasha’s outfit of the week and her cake that made it through the comments section.

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