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Natasha Pickowicz's pasta recipe

Natasha Pickowicz's pasta recipe

I believe anything tastes better if shaped into a cake and cut into pieces. Yes, baked ziti stuffed in casseroles is fine – but sometimes I need my dinner to feel as weird and fun as a layered cake decorated with flowers and candles. So I asked myself, will it cake?

It turns out that baked pasta will happily become cake. (After all, what can come out on top timpano — giant drumstick noodles stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and meatballs — assembled by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub in a culinary classic Important night?) The trick is to use an empty pasta, such as ziti or rigatoni, which you will arrange into a spring-loaded pan and coat with tomato sauce and cheese, which the noodles will absorb like a thirsty straw. . A ribbon of blanched greens with olive oil and parmesan cheese runs throughout the entire dish, adding freshness and color.

You can easily add layers of your own twists, such as stirring some sausage or shredded anchovies into the pasta sauce, or add a layer of tender roasted vegetables sprinkled with pesto sauce. Decorate your final masterpiece the same way you would with a layered cake — for me, a layer of fine fresh basil adds a sweet, triumphant feel — and honestly, I’ll eat it. this on real cake any day.

Natasha Pickowicz's Pasta Recipe

Natasha Pickowicz's Pasta Recipe

pasta layer cake
Server 6
operating time 30 minutes; 45 minutes of inactivity time

1 10-ounce can of frozen spinach (or 1 bunch of fresh spinach or kale)
1 pound pasta (like ziti or rigatoni)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 egg
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 24 ounce jar of ketchup (like Rao’s Spicy Arrabbiata)
2 cups canned mashed tomatoes
1 8-ounce bag of chopped low-moisture mozzarella
½ fresh mozzarella (about 4 ounces), cut into thin rounds
1 bunch fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

If using thawed frozen spinach, squeeze out as much excess water as you can with your hands or a cheesecloth. If using fresh kale or spinach, bring to a boil in a large pot of water, add a tablespoon of kosher salt, and blanch for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove greens with tongs and rinse under cold running water.

Bring the water back to a boil and cook the pasta until tender (about 8 to 9 minutes for the rigatoni, or 4 minutes less than the instructions on the box). Strain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

Drizzle a little olive oil over the bottom and sides of a cheesecake-sized springform pan. Chop the spinach or kale, then transfer to a small bowl. Add ¼ cup parmesan cheese, one egg, the rest of the olive oil and stir until smooth. Add a pinch of salt and black pepper and set aside. (If you want to eat spicy, add 1 teaspoon of chili powder).

Combine the ketchup and tomato puree in another small bowl (the crushed tomatoes form the sauce in the jar and create the perfect consistency for a juicy cake).

Line the bottom of a spring-loaded pan with the cooked pasta; stand upright piece by piece, like candles. (Start by lining the rim of the pan, where the spring walls allow the pasta to stand upright.) Continue adding pasta until the entire bottom is covered.

Spoon half of the ketchup over the pasta; Tap the cake pan on the counter so the sauce gets into all the crevices of the pasta.

Add half of the shredded mozzarella cheese on top, then the remaining grated parmesan cheese on top. Spread the seasoned greens over the cheese, then arrange the rest of the pasta on top, pinwheels or rows.

Finally, spread the remaining tomato sauce on top, then top with the remaining grated mozzarella. Finish the cake with sliced ​​mozzarella. (At this point, you can transfer the well-wrapped mold to the freezer to keep for up to a month.)

Place the spring-loaded pan on a baking tray or casserole dish (to catch the drippings), then transfer to the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes, or until top is bubbly and golden brown.

Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to loosen and carefully remove the spring washer. Garnish the cake with a whole bunch of basil to make it look nice and smell good. Cut into wedges and serve.

gooey bread

Natasha Pickowicz is a chef and writer in Brooklyn, best known for her pop-up pastry shop Endless flavors and her community cake saleput her on Time100 Next List. Natasha’s debut cookbook, which compiles cake recipes with stories about her family, social justice and culinary history, is out this spring. You can Pre-order hereif you want.

Postscript Natasha’s Costume WeekAnd her cake broke the comment section.

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