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Rigatoni Pasta Cake

Who said a birthday cake must be loaded with sugar and whipped cream? Here's a savory cake that served the purpose just fine!  I invited friends for dinner with plans of serving birthday cake for dessert...but then the birthday girl said she would bring dessert.  So I served the cake for the main course.  The pasta cake was an idea I saw on-line...where there are many versions to choose from.  I used rigatoni...though I think I will try a spaghetti cake next time.  It's a fun way to serve an Italian classic...for kids of any age to enjoy!  


  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
  • 4 cups prepared pasta sauce (use your favorite bottled variety or prepare your own)
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese


  • In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook pasta until slightly underdone (about 2 minutes less than the indicated time). Drain; rinse in cold water and drain again. Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook until it's browned, about 5 minutes. (Use a potato masher to break up the lumps of meat while sautéing.) Add the garlic, salt and pepper. Sauté another minute.
  • Add pasta sauce and heat through.
  • Toss pasta with Parmesan cheese. 
  • Lightly oil a 9-inch springform pan. Tightly pack pasta into the pan, standing each piece on end. (It really doesn't take long!)
  • Spread the meat sauce on top of pasta and push into the holes as much as possible. (I used the handle of a wooden spoon to do this.)
  • Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. 
  • Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and bake another 15 minutes...until cheese is browned and bubbling.
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edge to loosen and then un-mold.
  • Slice and serve.



  1. That is super cool Judy!! What a great way to serve a pasta dish. I have to try this - your instructions are great.

  2. That looks amazing. What a fun way to serve pasta; my grands would love this!!!!

  3. great idea. will try this one for sure.

  4. That looks like so much fun to make, serve, and of course, EAT!!!

  5. Yum Yum ! It looks great !

  6. Looks like an interesting cake to present to company. Just might have to give this cake a tasty try.

  7. And I was the recipient of this pasta cake....and we not only tasted and dined, but also delighted in receiving leftovers for the next few days.'s worth a try.

  8. was für eie torte...leeecker.!Gruss aus germany.Bussi.Luciene.

  9. Went thru to see if I could find my springform pan - no luck (LOL). So I'm going to make one in my trusty 8 x 8 pan to give a quick try just for the two of us.

  10. Took a little time to get filling into most of the tubes but was very well received by young and old, great presentation/
    I put the cheese on as per instructions but also turned the broiler on for a few minutes, a full package of shredded Italian mix