This post may contain affiliate links, please see the privacy policy for details.

If you can’t decide between a pasta dish and a pie, the good news is you don’t have to! This stuffed rigatoni pasta pie combines the best of both worlds for a comfort food dinner everyone is going to love. Rigatoni pasta works as the pie crust holding a delicious beef and onion filling, and then on top, you have an egg and ricotta topping to finish the pie off beautifully.

A freshly baked stuffed rigatoni pie with a golden-brown cheese crust, garnished with basil, served on a black plate with basil leaves on the side.

Everyone will want a slice of this tasty pasta pie recipe and some will want a second! It’s a meaty, cheese pasta bake with rigatoni made in a pie style.

If you have a soft spot for pasta, you might also like to try this smoked Italian pasta salad, ricotta beef stuffed pasta shells, pepperoni lasagna, or one-pot pasta with spinach and tomatoes. This pancetta pea pasta is a special dish too!

A spoon lifting a serving of layered pasta pie from a dish, with melted cheese and meat sauce visible, surrounded by side dishes.

Why You’ll Love This

Unusual: This is a fun dish to make because you’re using rigatoni as a kind of pie crust to contain the filling.
Delicious: How can you go wrong with pasta, beef, tomatoes, cheese, and herbs? Just imagine how tasty this pasta pie recipe is!
Real Italian flavors: If you want to order a pie like this in Italy, you simply ask for rigatoni pasticciati. It’s from a specific region but well-loved there. The Italian version typically includes a pastry crust and a lot of mushrooms but most of the other ingredients are the same. It isn’t one of the best-known dishes but the ingredients are quintessentially Italian. So, if you want to indulge in a meal rich in those Italian flavors we all know and love, you have to try this!

A plate of baked rigatoni pasta pie topped with meat sauce and basil, served alongside a bowl of grated cheese, with a brick wall in the background.

Recipe for Pasta Pie Ingredients

A complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below

Rigatoni pasta: One of the main ingredients. This is a hollow pasta that you need to use so the filling can go into the holes.
Ground beef: Use regular or lean ground beef, as you prefer.
Tomatoes: Canned diced tomatoes, canned crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce combine for a rich flavor.
Herbs: Basil and oregano add a subtle flavor. You can substitute dried for fresh or vice versa (just keep in mind you’ll need a lot less if using dried as it’s stronger).
Onion and garlic: These work well complementing the meaty filling.
Cheese: You need a ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese mixture for the filling, and mozzarella cheese for the topping.
Egg: For both flavor and texture in the cheese topping.

A table setup of lasagna servings on plates with grated cheese, a bowl of extra sauce, and basil garnish.

How to Make Baked a Pasta Pie Recipe

For more detailed instructions with weights and measurements, jump to the printable recipe card

Cook the pasta: Follow the instructions on the package and cook the pasta to al dente, then drain.
Cook the beef: Cook the beef in a pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and then drain off the fat once it’s browned all over. Set it aside in a bowl.
Soften the onion and garlic: Add oil to the same pot and cook the onion until soft and then the garlic for another minute.
Finish the sauce: Add the tomatoes to the pot and add the meat back in. Add the herbs, bring to a boil and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Make the cheese filling: Mix together the ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan, fresh basil, salt, and pepper. Transfer this mixture into a pastry bag and snip off the corner.
Prepare the noodles: Fill each noodle with some of the ricotta mixture and then arrange the filled pasta in a springform pan facing upwards.
Add the toppings: Add some mozzarella on top and then add the sauce on top. Finish with the rest of the mozzarella.
Cook the pasta pie: Loosely cover it with foil and bake the pie for half an hour. Discard the foil and give it another 15 minutes, giving it a final broil if necessary.
Cool and serve: Let it sit for 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and serve in slices with fresh basil and parmesan. Serve any remaining sauce with it too.

A close-up image of a slice of pasta pie with layers of pasta, cheese, and meat sauce, garnished with basil, on a black plate against a brick wall background.

Substitutions and Variations

Gluten-free option: If you want a gluten-free version, use your favorite type of gluten-free rigatoni pasta.
Manicotti instead of rigatoni: Manicotti is larger than rigatoni and would also work, although you’d need to trim the tops so it isn’t taller than the pan edges.
Spice it up: If you want to throw in some red pepper flakes, go ahead!

A fork lifting a slice of stuffed pasta pie from a white plate with extra sauce and chopped herbs in the background, perfectly following the pasta pie recipe.

Serving Suggestions

Appetizers: As this pie with pasta is a rich and hearty dish, you’ll want to serve light appetizers such as watermelon feta cucumber salad, Italian rice salad, or a zoodles salad.
Side dishes:  
If you don’t mind a lot of carbs, garlic bread is beautiful with pasta recipes. If you prefer a contrast, consider reverse seared New York steak or Italian wedding soup with chicken meatballs, but keep the portions small(ish!)

Slice of cheesy baked rigatoni pasta pie recipe with fresh basil on top, served on a black plate against a soft-hued background.

How to Store Italian Baked Pasta Pie

Store: Leftovers keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Freeze: You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
Thaw: Thaw in the fridge overnight.
Reheat: The microwave is the easiest method of reheating pasta pie.

A freshly baked pasta pie with one slice being lifted, topped with melted cheese and basil, on a wooden table with grated cheese and a fork in the background.

Top Tips

Use grated not shredded parmesan: You must use grated parmesan for the filling and not shredded. If not, it might clog up the opening of your piping bag.
Fill the noodles before stacking: If you’re curious whether stacking the noodles and then filling them is quicker, the answer is it might be or it might not be. Stacking them first makes it hard to see when the noodle is filled to the top. If you’re using manicotti in place of rigatoni, it’s best to fill them after stacking since they are so much wider.
Use a bigger pan: Feeding a crowd? You can use a bigger pan. Just use more of each ingredient to make up for it. Or just double the recipe and use two pans instead of one.

A slice of baked stuffed rigatoni pasta pie topped with meat sauce and grated cheese, garnished with herbs, served on a white plate.

Rigatoni Pie Recipe FAQs

Can you use something other than ricotta cheese, maybe cottage cheese?

Since this is in the mixture you pipe into the pasta, cottage cheese would clog up the hole in the piping bag. Mascarpone doesn’t offer the same flavor as ricotta. If you don’t like ricotta, then use manicotti instead of rigatoni as it’s bigger and you can pipe something with cottage cheese into it if you make the hole in the piping bag larger.

Should I have some of the cheese mixture leftover or some of the meat mixture?

You might or you might not. If you do, you can use them in other dishes, perhaps tossing with cooked rice or adding to an omelet. It’s better to end up with too much rather than not enough, right?

How do you get the pasta to stand up in the pan without falling over?

The trick is standing the pan at a 45-degree angle and then loading the filled pasta into it. When it’s full the pasta will stand up straight.

A slice of a rigatoni pasta pie recipe topped with meat sauce and grated cheese on a white plate, with the whole pie visible in the background.

Ricotta Stuffed Rigatoni Pie Recipe

5 from 9 votes

Pasta Pie Recipe

By: Bella Bucchiotti
Everyone will want a slice of this tasty pasta pie recipe and some will want a second! It's a meaty, cheese pasta bake with rigatoni made in a pie style.
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Resting time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 10 Ounces rigatoni, uncooked, dried

For the sauce:

  • 1 Pound ground beef
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ Cup yellow onion, diced
  • 3 Cloves garlic, minced, large
  • 14 Ounces diced tomatoes, petite diced
  • 28 Ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 14 Ounces tomato sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 Teaspoon oregano, dried
  • ½ Teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed, optional
  • ½ Teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper

For the cheese filling:

  • 15 Ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 Egg, lightly beaten
  • ½ Cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon black pepper

For the topping:

  • 2 Cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

For the garnish:

  • Fresh basil, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Instructions 

Make the sauce:

  • Cook the ground beef in a large pot over medium-high heat, breaking it into smaller pieces. Cook until browned, then remove from the pan and drain any fat. Set the cooked ground beef aside in a separate bowl.
  • In the same large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, for approximately 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional minute, stirring constantly.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and ground beef. Mix to combine, then add all the herbs. Bring the complete sauce to a low boil, then simmer on low heat for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Make the cheese filling:

  • In a small mixing bowl, add the ricotta cheese, beaten egg, grated parmesan cheese, fresh basil, salt, and pepper and combine. Scoop the cheese mixture into a pastry bag without a tip or a Ziploc bag, then snip a small corner off the bag to help pipe this mix into each cooked rigatoni.

Prepare the noodles:

  • Grease the inside of an 8-inch springform pan with some nonstick cooking spray. Tilt the greased springform pan on its side at a 45-degree angle (it helps to have it leaning against a heavy duty bowl or glass to accomplish this angle).
  • Fill each rigatoni from one end using the pastry/plastic bag of ricotta filling. Stand the filled pasta in the greased springform pan, starting at the bottom (the end leaning on the table). Once all the noodles are filled and stacked in the springform, there will be a small space at the “top” of the pan.
  • To even the noodles inside the pan and make room for cheese and sauce, make a small space in the center using your non-dominant hand while gently holding the filled noodles upright with your dominant hand and shifting the noodles out to fill the springform pan and any gaps.
  • Place the springform pan flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Finish the pie:

  • Sprinkle a few tablespoons of mozzarella cheese over the filled pasta, and gently twist the springform pan back and forth to encourage the cheese to fill into the crevices.
  • Pour 1 or 2 cups of the sauce over the pasta, and using the back of a spoon, push the sauce around to fill in between the pieces of pasta. Pour another 1 cup of sauce over the pasta and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.

Bake the pasta pie:

  • Loosely cover the pasta pie with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Uncover and cook for 15 minutes until the cheese is cooked through.
  • Change the oven temperature to low broil and finish the pasta pie for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Broil for a couple of minutes if needed.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes before removing the springform sides. Slice and garnish with fresh chopped basil and grated parmesan.
  • Serve with the remaining sauce.

Notes

Use grated not shredded parmesan: You must use grated parmesan for the filling and not shredded. If not, it might clog up the opening of your piping bag.
Fill the noodles before stacking: If you’re curious whether stacking the noodles and then filling them is quicker, the answer is it might be or it might not be. Stacking them first makes it hard to see when the noodle is filled to the top. If you’re using manicotti in place of rigatoni, it’s best to fill them after stacking since they are so much wider.
Use a bigger pan: Feeding a crowd? You can use a bigger pan. Just use more of each ingredient to make up for it. Or just double the recipe and use two pans instead of one. Or use the one pan… twice!

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 114mg | Sodium: 960mg | Potassium: 889mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1074IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 419mg | Iron: 5mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

Known as rigatoni pasticciati in Italy, this pasta pie recipe isn’t hard to make but it is impressive. The bold flavors of beef, tomatoes, pasta, and seasonings makes this a comfort food dream. And the way the stuffed pasta tubes stand up under the meaty, cheesy topping makes this a recipe to impress. So, whatever you’re looking for, this pasta pie is a wonderful option that boasts lots of flavor. Serve it with an elegant side salad or enjoy it homestyle with garlic bread. Everyone will love it!

Other Recipes to Try

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.

 

You Might Also Like

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. I’d like to try this, but the recipe does not say what size ricotta cheese is needed. 15 oz., 32 oz?

  2. 5 stars
    OMG! Me and my daughter tried this yesterday and it was sooo good! It’s our new go-to pie recipe! Thanks for sharing this!