August 30, 2010

Pasta Pie


I released the spring...PHLUMPH!

"That can't be good." I looked over at Roberto. He gave a look of cautious optimism.

I inhaled deeply, held my breath, and lifted the spring-form pan. Phew. The air came rushing from my lungs. A smile crept across my face. Success.


"I'm going to make this." I said. My finger pointing to Pasta 'Ncasciata (pasta pie).


The Concise Gastronomy of Italy by Anna Del Conte
Pasta 'Ncasciata
A Sicilian pasta pie, the pasta being encased ('ncasciata) in the fried eggplant. This is a stunning and tasty dish, full of different flavors.


"It looks very involved."

"There are a lot of parts, but everything is pretty basic. I'm going to make it today. We'll have it for supper."

"What's in it?"

"Fried eggplant, tomato sauce, rigatoni, salami, two hard-boiled eggs, mozzarella..." The list went on and on.


"Tasty." He said.

What a satisfying word, tasty.


Clever, but not fussy, Pasta 'Ncasciata.

Step 1:
Hard-boil two large eggs. Cool to room temperature.

Step 2:
Slice, salt, and drain eggplant (enough to encase a spring-form pan, both sides and bottom).

Step 3:
Prepare your favorite red sauce. Cool to room temperature.

Step 4:
Rinse and pat dry eggplant. Fry (egg and breadcrumbs or egg and flour, whichever you prefer). Cool to room temperature.

Step 5:
Boil pasta (very al dente, as much as you think you'll need to fill your spring-form). Dress with loads of sauce and cool to room temperature. Stir often.

Step 6:
Slice hard-boiled eggs (about five slices per egg).

Step 7:
Slice thinly sliced salami into strips (enough to layer twice, half inch should do).

Step 8:
Grate mozzarella and parmesan (enough to keep things glued together).

Step 9:
Line sides and bottom of spring-form pan with fried eggplant. Layer pasta; egg; salami, cheese; pasta; salami; cheese; pasta; cheese. Repeat until you've filled your pan to the brim and then some.

Step 10:
Bake covered for 20-30 minutes in a 375 degree oven until cooked through. Continue to bake uncovered for 10 minutes to get things a little crusty.

When your pasta pie is ready, remove from oven and let sit, covered, for five minutes (you might need to run a knife around the perimeter). Invert onto plate. Eat as many slices as you like, immediately.


  1. That just made my belly grumble in hunger.

  2. This looks really interesting. The ingredients look great and your Pasta 'Ncasciata is so pretty and perfectly browned. An inspiration.

  3. What a fascinating idea - you've got to hand it to those Sicilians. They knew how to take leftover bits of food and really make them into something fantastic (and pretty, too!)

  4. oh my god YUM! the fried eggplant "crust" is making me drool.

  5. Looks tasty indeed. That finished product was surely worth the mulitple steps involved.

  6. I love this, Tracy! What a clever and delicious dish. I can imagine it smells utterly heavenly. :-)

  7. I would eat every single slice if possible, that is if my stomach could handle it. It looks fantastic. I love that crust. Great one Tracy!

  8. That looks SO GOOD! I am amazed - I had no idea you could make something like that!

  9. Oh wow! This looks amazing! So pretty and impressive... I'm thinking this is great dinner party food. And really, how could you go wrong with fried eggplant and salami and eggs and cheese?

  10. Uke - It has that kind of power!

    Denise - Thank you :)

    margie - Leftover bits do make for the best food, I think.

    Tracy - Fried eggplant is one of my favorite things, so I was all over this recipe.

    Michele - I would make it again in a heartbeat.

    Tart - It smells amazing, but it tastes out of this world.

    magda - It can handle it. In fact, we should have just finished it the first night :)

    Lindsay - It brings baked pasta to a new level, that's for sure.

    Katie - It is perfect dinner party food. I'm thinking next time we have folks over that this will be one of many pasta courses...

  11. quite an interesting looking dish,
    I've never seen a pasta pie, but looks and sounds very comforting :)

  12. fantastica. My dad used to make something similar. He added diced fried eggplants in the inside.

  13. I have never heard of pasta pie before but this looks soooo good. i am saving this recipe. Stumbled across your blog and love it.

  14. WOW
    those ingenious Sicilians!!
    I have heard of pasta pie, made with spaghetti and such, nothing like THIS!
    Involved--yes, with steps, but not difficult.

  15. M. - It is very much comfort food :)

    Amelia - The original recipe called for eggplant as a layer as well, but we ran out :)

    Delishhh - Glad you stumbled :)

    nancy - Thank you :) Not difficult at all. I think I'm going to see what else I can stuff and bake pasta into...


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