Why You Should Be Using Rigatoni To Build The Perfect Pasta Pie

rigatoni pasta pie topped with cheese
rigatoni pasta pie topped with cheese - rontav/Shutterstock

From cooking the noodles properly to creating a sauce that clings to the noodles well, there are many methods to make the perfect bowl of pasta. But when it comes to making a baked pasta pie (it is a great way to reinvent leftover pasta), it's easy to rely on a hearty sauce or cheese to bind everything together. Ultimately, everyone wants to get a great bite with a balanced ratio of pasta, sauce, and cheese. Fortunately, the key to making a crowd-stopping pasta pie is as simple as selecting the proper style and shape of pasta: Rigatoni.

When you use rigatoni to bake pasta pie, the uniform noodles can easily stand up on their ends for uniform results. This means you won't have pieces of pasta falling out of the pie as you slice into it as you might with something like a baked spaghetti pie. Instead, the pie should hold its shape well. Another advantage is that the cylindrical shape can be readily filled with pasta sauce so every bite bursts with flavor. It's a simple trick for a dish that's easier and tastier to eat.

Read more: 44 Types Of Pasta And When You Should Be Using Them

Consider Using Other Cylindrical Pastas

cylindrical pasta
cylindrical pasta - Scisetti Alfio/Shutterstock

Apart from rigatoni's wide, hollow center, this pasta shape has another helpful characteristic. Its flat ends allow the pasta to stand on its ends so well. Similar types of hollow pasta like macaroni or penne are too rounded or angular to achieve the same results. But rigatoni is not your only option — whether you're searching through what you have on hand or simply don't see it on the shelves of your grocery store.

While there are over 40 pasta shapes with specific uses you can choose from, you can narrow it down following the simple characteristics of rigatoni. Other options that stand upright well and are wide enough to fill with sauce include shapes like ziti and cannelloni. Although ziti can have a slight bend to its dried shape, the pasta can be easily stacked together for a baked pasta pie. Meanwhile, cannelloni is a much larger pasta making each slice quite substantial. A smaller pasta like ditalini, while hollow with flat ends, is simply too short to be effective.

So, forget simply reheating your pasta and try forming it into a new dish with baked pasta pie. Thanks to their shape, hollow pasta styles — whether you use rigatoni or branch out — will deliver the perfect bite, every time.

Read the original article on Tasting Table