Pasta Cake | cup of joe

Macaroni Cake Recipe from Natasha Pickowicz

I think anything tastes better shaped into a cake and sliced. Yes, baked ziti stuffed in a casserole is fine—but sometimes I need my dinner to feel as light and festive as a layer cake topped with roses and candles. So, I ask myself, will it be cake?

Turns out your baked pasta will happily become a cake. (After all, what can top timpano – Giant spaghetti in the shape of a cylinder stuffed with hard-boiled eggs and meatballs – Compiled by Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub at The Cooking Classic Big night?) The trick is to use hollow tube pasta, like ziti or rigatoni, which you’ll arrange in a springform pan and layer with balls of tomato sauce and cheese, which the pasta will suck up like thirsty straw. A ribbon of blanched vegetables seasoned with olive oil and Parmesan runs through the whole thing, adding freshness and color.

You can easily add layers to your cake, like stir-fry sausage or anchovies in pasta sauce, or add a sneaky topping of roasted root vegetables in pesto. Decorate your finished masterpiece just as you would a layer cake—for me, a delicate crown of fresh basil adds a sweet, triumphant touch—and honestly, I’d eat this on a real cake any day.

Macaroni Cake Recipe from Natasha Pickowicz

Pasta layer cake
6 services
30 minutes of real time; 45 minutes inactive time

1 10-ounce package frozen spinach (or 1 package fresh spinach or kale)
1 pound tube pasta (such as ziti or rigatoni)
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon chili flakes (optional)
1 24-ounce jar of tomato sauce (eg Spicy Arabiata from Raw)
2 cups canned mashed tomatoes
1 package 8-ounce reduced-moisture shredded mozzarella
Fresh mozzarella ball (about 4 ounces), thinly sliced
1 bunch of fresh basil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

If using thawed frozen spinach, squeeze out as much of the excess water as possible using your hands or a cheesecloth. If using spinach or kale, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the greens with tongs and rinse under cold water.

Return the water to a boil and cook the pasta until very tender (about 8 to 9 minutes for rigatoni, or 4 minutes less per box directions). Drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water.

Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom and sides of a cheesecake tin. Chop the spinach or kale into small pieces, then put them in a small bowl. Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, an egg, and the rest of the olive oil, and stir until smooth. Add a large pinch of salt and black pepper and set aside. (If you want to make it spicy, add a teaspoon of chili flakes.)

Combine the tomato sauce and the crushed tomatoes in another small bowl (the crushed tomatoes add grated sauce and make it the perfect texture for a soft cake).

Place cooked pasta in bottom of greased springform pan; Stand each piece upright, like candles. (Begin by lining the rim of the pan, as the springy walls allow the noodles to stay upright.) Continue adding pasta until the bottom is completely covered.

Pour half of the tomato sauce over the pasta; Gently lift the cake pan onto the counter so that the sauce drips into all the cracks of the pasta.

Top with half of the grated mozzarella, then add the remaining grated Parmesan. Pour the seasoned vegetables over the cheese, then arrange the pasta on top in a pinwheel or in rows.

Finally, spread the remainder of the tomato sauce on top, then top with the rest of the shredded mozzarella. Finish the cake with mozzarella slices. (At this point you can transfer the cake pan, well wrapped, to the freezer where it will keep for up to a month.)

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

Let it cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then run a butter knife around the sides of the pan to carefully loosen and remove the spring collar. Garnish the cake with a full handful of basil so it looks creamy and fragrant. Cut it into slices and serve.

Macaroni Cake Recipe from Natasha Pickowicz

Natasha Pekovic She is a Brooklyn-based chef and writer best known for her pop-up pastry menu Endless taste Which Community bake salesthat you put on List the next 100 time. Natasha’s first cookbook, which weaves baking recipes with her family’s stories, social justice, and food history, was released this spring. You can Pre-order hereif you like.

note Natasha’s clothing weekAnd Her cake that broke the comments section.

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