Rigatoni 'cake'

A fun spin on a simple baked pasta dish that the children will love helping to make


This simple pasta bake is fun to make. Basically, you stand the cooked rigatoni upright in a sandwich cake pan and when it comes out of the oven it looks like a pasta cake! Simply made with tomato sauce and cheese, it is great for kids’ parties, but equally good to make at any time. A loose-bottomed, spring-form cake pan is best for getting the pasta bake out easily.


Recipe adapted from Pasta Perfecto, Pavilion Books

  • Preheat the oven to 160°C fan/180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Line the base and sides of a 20-cm (8-in) round, loose-bottomed, spring-form cake pan with greaseproof (wax) paper, then grease with butter and coat with breadcrumbs.
  • To make the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the garlic and sweat it for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and basil leaves, and season with salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. At the end of cooking, discard the garlic.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well and mix together with the chopped basil, half of the mozzarella, some black pepper, half of the tomato sauce and half of the grated Parmesan. Leave to cool slightly until you can handle the pasta.
  • Place the rigatoni standing upright in the prepared pan until it is full. Pour over the remaining tomato sauce, scatter with the remaining mozzarella and sprinkle with the remaining grated Parmesan. Bake in the hot oven for 25 minutes, until golden.
  • Remove from the oven, leave to rest for 5 minutes, then carefully remove the pan, slide onto a plate and serve.
Butter, for greasing
Breadcrumbs, for lining the pan
325g rigatoni pasta
A handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
250g mozzarella, cut into small cubes
50g grated Parmesan
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the tomato sauce:
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, left whole and squashed
2 x 400g cans of chopped plumtomatoes
½ handful of basil leaves
Sea salt
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