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Italian Pasta Pie

As I mentioned in my recent post about Italian food, some of the best recipes come from Italian creativity when times are tough (la cucina povera) in southern Italy that was pretty much all the time… well, times are tough everywhere!  but don’t let that stop you from making delicious Italian food.  Pasta Pie or pizza di macaroni is a great way to make leftover pasta into a great new recipe.  This recipe was created for exactly that reason… as you may know, Italians don’t cook the “correct amount” of anything.  It goes something like this at my house, “how many people are we?… 6?  we’ll need 3 pounds of pasta.” So when there’s a pound of pasta left over, what do you with it?  (Yes frat boy, you could eat it cold.)  make Pasta Pie!

There’s no reason to wait until you have leftover pasta though… Pasta Pie is a great treat anytime!  especially in the summer.  Check out this monster my brother-in-law made this past weekend.  This is 4 pounds of pasta deliciousness.  Everyone has their own recipe, amounts, types of pasta, etc.  I don’t have the exact recipe (hint: there is no exact recipes in Italian cooking, the sooner you realize that, the happier we will all be) but here’s the basics of how he makes his… which was delicious!

He uses different types of long pasta (spaghetti, bucatini, etc.) if you use short cut pasta it tends to crumble easily.  The different pasta types also help make it less dense. Cook your pasta and let it cool and drain well.  Then beat 12 eggs per pound of pasta (no, that isn’t a misprint… 12 eggs per pound of pasta, I never said my brother-in-law wasn’t cRaZy) apparently my sister only had 24 eggs to add to the 4 pounds of pasta so it didn’t come out exactly how it should have (so 48 eggs would be the correct amount here?… C-r-A-z-Y!)  Add the eggs, grated parmigiana, salt and pepper to the pasta and mix well.  In a humongous frying pan (obviously) add olive oil and let the pasta mixture cook until golden brown (the trick is to move the pasta around so that it forms in the pan) then take the lid of the pan and flip the pasta.  Let both sides get golden brown and you have yourself a Pasta Pie.  I wouldn’t recommend starting with a 4 pounder… you might want to make a 1 pounder first.  You can also add other ingredients as well… sopressata, ham or whatever your creative Italian soul is feeling.  So have yourself a slice of Pasta Pie, a fresh summer salad and a glass of wine.  Enjoy and buon appetito!

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21 comments to Italian Pasta Pie

  • Pat

    Hi Joe

    Your pasta pie looks delicious! We rarely have leftover pasta but one thing we try to do is make a simple pasta with ricotta/butter mix as sauce and save some as leftover to use in a frittata. So good!

  • I’m…having…chest pains! Seriously, that looks so wonderful I may try it tonight. I have never seen or heard of pasta pie. Before I read “You can also add other ingredients as well…” I was already thinking sun-dried tomatoes would be good in that. I was also thinking to bake the pie it in a cast-iron skillet. Thanks for sharing “pizza di macaroni” and also “la cucina povera.” The next time my kids ask “where are we going to eat?” I’m going to say, “La Cucina Povera.”

  • Leftover pasta is rare here – but I might have to make a ton just to try this pasta pie! As soon as you said,”feel free to add other ingredients,” my mind became the happy wanderer. Cheeses, meats, vegetables… I love Italian cooking! I am loving Pasta Pie!

  • Fun post, Joe. I was laughing at the references to quantities and recipes. So true! Your pie came out great. I made one earlier this week with zucchini and it was a disaster (but it tasted good). I can see now I didn’t use enough eggs!

  • Hi Joe.. We seldom use/have leftover pasta in our house either, but your dish looks fabulous! Comfort food at its best.

  • Gotta love the Italians’ way with leftovers! My friend Giorgio also uses up leftover pasta by making it into a frittata…brilliant and tasty!

  • Madeline

    I love adding some chopped up salami gives it a little kick !

  • Oooh, this looks delish. Shouldn’t have read this right before pranzo, Joe!

  • LAURIE

    ALSO HAVE PUT RAISENS AND PEPPERONI IN IT. I KNOW IT SOUNDS ODD COMBO BUT IT IS GOOD!

  • Kelly

    I used to eat this at a girlfriends house as a kid and always loved the dish. Haven’t had any in 20years so I’m excited to find this dish here and going to make some right now…. yummy

  • Jane

    I loved reading your story made me laugh. Im getting ready to make this for Easter (it’s a must). We make it with fine noodles instead of pasta but everything else is the same. Oh and don’t forget to put lots of pepper and eat it over the sink while everyone else is sitting.

  • Maddalena Candela

    Hi Joe, My mother made that maccaroni pie (Pastier di Maccaroni)every Saturday before Easter, as they did in her home town of Sarno, province of Salerno.
    My mother last year past away, but I brought down the tradition to my children, the same my mom did for me. But I must say yours looks even better than my pie came out.
    Also, if you use a copper pan you’ll see the difference

    Sincerely,

    Maddalena Candela

  • Gina

    Hi Joe,
    I’ve been making a similar recipe since my grandmother passed away…like Maddalena the recipe has been a part of our family thats been passed down. My grandmother also used to cook on top of the stove in a frypan, but she could do no wrong in the kitchen…I’ve had to improvise. I bake mine in a ceramic deep dish pie plate until it gets a little crisp on top…its been a Godsend not having to stand by the stove frying. Anyway, thanks for sharing!

  • Dominic

    Everyone in my family has their own secret for this dish. But we all want to know the proper Italian name for it??? Someting like “Minyaths”

  • Rose

    My mother was from a small town near Sarno called Bracigliano. Hers was made with various pastas, ricotta, eggs, grated parmigiana, salt and pepper in a cast-iron skillet. She often brought it to picnics because it would spoil and is eatten cold. I make it also but bake it. My family considers it an italian comfort food. We have been serving it as an appetizer at family events. we call it sharone.

  • Scott

    My family has been making a version of this for as long as I can remember, it is made during Easter lent.
    Anyone here have the surname Sarno, Albano or Nasti in the family? My family came from Bracigliano as well.

  • Meghan Albano Lightcap

    My grandmother used to make this and my family is from Bracigliono. We called it Shadon!

  • Perriello

    We call it deyela.

    Made with spaghetti, butter, parmesan, eggs, ricotta and oil.

  • Justina

    Hey Joe, thank you so much for posting an Italian tradition. My grandmother who had16 kids made this dish all the time in Naples because at least she knew her kids had eaten and would be full. They were very poor so they couldn’t afford to eat lavish meats.
    80 years later and 1 of her 27 grandchildren I now prepare this dish for my two kids.
    Of course I was taught to fry it but trying to be healthier I bake it….. It’s so wonderful to see that others shared in the same beautiful memories of food and love.Ciao

  • Gary

    I grew up with this and it was called (pronounced Abastia) Pastia and we used Perciatelli (NEVER spaghetti) and only Locatelli (it was worse than a sin to use another brand) cheese in copious amounts along with salt and pepper, but it was baked in a rectangular glassware baking pan. We used a straw pushed into the middle while it was baking to see if it came out wet from uncooked eggs and needed more cook time.

  • PAT

    My family made it with sugar! It so sweet and on top of the stove browned to perfection. I now do it for my grandkids remembering my mom each time and thanking her for showing me how to make this along with other dishes.

    MY grandkids love it! Its a snack for them when they come in from playing!

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