TikTok Foodies Are Seriously Divided Over Honeycomb Pasta

Zee Krstic
·5 min read
TikTok Foodies Are Seriously Divided Over Honeycomb Pasta
  • TikTok users are obsessed with a pasta dish that everyone is calling honeycomb pasta, a cross between a baked pasta casserole and classic layered lasagna.

  • The concept went viral on TikTok this month but has been developed from pasta recipes that have long been on the internet.

  • You'll need a springform cake pan and at least four classic pasta ingredients to get started, but the recipe can be customized to your family's preference.

Some Italian cuisine purists may turn up their noses at the idea of a baked pasta pie, but TikTok users seemingly can't get enough of what's become known as honeycomb pasta. The hybrid creation went viral on TikTok after one user, Anna Rothfuss, recapped the process of physically building the dish on her profile — her video has since racked up 1 million likes and over 12.3 million views. A few comments on Rothfuss' video suggest that Italian cuisine aficionados weren't too impressed: "My Nonna called me and she wants me to tell you, she's mad at you," one viewer shared.

But Valentina Mussi, a recipe developer that shares ideas on her @sweetporfolio account, may have first popularized the basic recipe for honeycomb pasta — or the version that's being widely shared on TikTok, at least. And she's received plenty of love from throngs of home cooks who are attempting the dish at home for the first time.

At its most basic, honeycomb pasta is a layered pasta dish that makes use of multiple layers of:

  • Your choice of pasta sauce, either store-bought or made from scratch using one of your trusted recipes.

  • Your choice of noodle, though many choose to spring for rigatoni, as its pasta structure works well when layered in a baking dish. Flimsier noodles may not retain the classic pie shape that honeycomb pasta fans can't get enough of.

  • Stuffing the noodle with a cheese of your choice, whether it be thinly sliced mozzarella or a small dollop of ricotta. While cheese fanatics may choose to stuff each pasta noodle, honeycomb pasta certainly can be made well by stuffing just a few spots here and there.

  • An optional dusting of seasoned ground beef, which lasagna fans will certainly enjoy.

  • And last, but certainly not least, an entire "crust" of grated parmesan and mozzarella cheese on top that will bake to a crisped perfection right before you serve your meal.

  • Most are first assembled using fully cooked pasta, baked at 375℉ for 20 minutes while covered with tinfoil, and afterward are uncovered for an additional 10 minutes to develop that cheesy crust.

So many blogs have created their own honeycomb pasta recipes designed for a filling, indulgent family meal after the dish went viral on TikTok earlier in April, but the process for making it at home isn't complicated at all.

You'll need to secure your ingredients, a baking sheet and most importantly, a springform cake pan, which you'll use to assemble your honeycomb pasta dish.

Fans of honeycomb pasta say there's a myriad of reasons why a home cook would love to make it at home — for starters, it can be a one-pan dish that you can "set and forget" in the oven. It can certainly feed an entire family of hungry pasta lovers, too (like these other pasta meals!). But doubtful users point out that assembly can take quite a while, as you'll need to carefully create the honeycomb-esque structure of the dish in a springform pan. And stuffing each noodle can be time-consuming, too.

The best honeycomb pasta recipes to try:

The beauty of this TikTok trend is that the pasta cake concept can be adapted to feature some of your family's favorite elements. Want to sub vodka sauce in place of marinara? No problem! Prefer shredded chicken in place of ground beef? Go for it! The base of a honeycomb pasta dish can be riffed upon as you continue to make it at home.

While many TikTok users have used rigatoni noodles in their dish, a more traditional approach often includes cannelloni pasta, and has been shared in recipes on sites like Epicurious long before TikTok was around. Some may even argue that this dish really could be traced back to a traditional Italian pasta al forno recipe, made popular by chefs and food celebs like Rachael Ray.

On TikTok, you'll be sure to find plenty of different takes on honeycomb pasta to try; influencer Jamie Milne ingeniously combined two massively popular recipes du jour by making a baked feta honeycomb pasta dish (seen below!). It includes all the same elements of a classic pasta pie, but the creamy baked feta sauce is certainly a plus for cheese lovers.

If it's the first time you're attempting to make honeycomb pasta from scratch, we love how TikToker Jennifer Valentyne walks her followers through the process.

In her tutorials' comments, we couldn't help but notice that some people were chatting about ways to make this recipe easier for a routine weeknight meal by cutting back on prep time. If you're anything like most home cooks, the prospect of stuffing upwards of 60-75 rigatoni noodles with individual pieces of cheese may scare you off — which is why Valentyne tells her followers to shortcut that step. Rather than stress over each individual noodle, she stuffs cheese wherever she desires, and doubles up on fresh parmesan right before it's time to serve.

That's likely the key to really enjoying honeycomb pasta — not stressing the details, and making this a project for the whole family to enjoy. You've probably got most of the four basic ingredients for a cheesy honeycomb pasta dish in your pantry, and you'll find that the time spent prepping the pasta "cake" really makes the first bite all the more delicious.

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