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Jan 17, 2012 06:48 PM

Not Italian, but need Italian help

I have an obsession that comes up every few years, but lately every few months. I keep thinking about a food item I call “pasta pie”. It all started in 1990/1991 when a small group of us worked together to create an Italian food and wine dinner. We used several recipes from magazines. One keeps coming up in my mind. I think it was raviolis (or some wrapped pasta) which was placed between sheets of pasta in a springform pan – kind of like a lasagna, but the layers in the middle consisted of the wrapped pasta. Then it is baked and you slice it like a pie. You see wonderful layers. Someone lost/threw away that magazine and I’ve been thinking about it since I got back to the states. We lived overseas for about 12 years.

Also, during that time, I had a co-worker that brought something similar in his lunch. Apparently, his mother-in-law made this.

Anyway, I can’t find the recipe or anything similar. At one time, I found out that the different layers may represent every year Jesus was alive, but, lately, if I look at torta pasqualina it has eggs.

Can someone set me straight? What are these “pasta pies” called? Do you have a recommended recipe? I would like to try to do one again soon (maybe for Easter) and try to get over using my time searching the World Wide Web!

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  1. Here is a recipe from Lynne Rossetto Kasper's The Splendid Table for a Tortellini Pie - maybe not the same thing you had, but it might be a jumping off point?


    1 Reply
    1. re: biondanonima

      Thanks. I actually have that book, but don't remember seeing that recipe. I will look at it!

      1. re: wyogal

        Maybe. I've used that in a search before, but still could not find the recipe. I am thinking I'm going to have to make something up from the things I think I remember.

        A ravioli/tortellini... I can't remember the filling.
        I think prosciutto
        A bechamel sauce (can't remember if it was then made red)
        All within lasagna noodles

      2. I have recipes for sweet and savory versions, which are you looking for?

        4 Replies
        1. re: malabargold

          malabargold, I am not the OP, but would love to have the savory recipe, if you don't mind posting it.

          1. re: Wtg2Retire

            I 'm sorry, I can't as the originals are not mine, but a family member's whose permission to distribute I don't have.
            The other posters are correct, a search for the terms pasticcio or timballo should start you on your way.
            I have also made the one in Giuliano Bugialli's Foods of Italy, p104. It is very good!

            1. re: malabargold

              Thank you... Yes, I think looking at timballo recipes will put me closer to where I want to go with this.

          2. Timballo perhaps? They can be layered with whatever ingredients (and however) you want.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cheese Boy

              Thanks. I will try searching on that.

            2. This looks like what you are talking about, except it is in Italian.

              I have to admit being intrigued by your description. Did it have a cream or tomato sauce? What was in the raviolis? How many layers can you recall?

              Sounds like something to Mad Scientist on a cold winter day with your favorite test subjects...AKA my mate LOL. Off the top of our heads, let's see...hey, join in the fun here, everyone!

              First layer beachamel. Maybe with some chopped fresh tomato and basil
              Second layer, ricotta ravis made with spinach pasta.
              Third layer; a nice vodka sauce.
              Fourth layer. extra thin lasagna noodles with flat leaf parsley imbedded in it.
              Fifth a great bollanaise.
              Sixth, ravis made with a portabello mushroom mix.
              Seventh, Start over??? back to the bechamel.
              Eighth, extra thin lasagna noodles with flat leaf parsley imbedded in it.

              hummm. Anyone else?

              9 Replies
              1. re: MartiniGenie

                I can't remember. What I'm thinking is make fresh lasagna noodles. For some reason, I think that was a green (spinach noodle), but I'm not sure why. I can't remember what was in the ravioli -- maybe prosciutto and something. Line the pan with lasagna noodle, put in a layer of ravioli, then sauce, then another layer of ravioli, then sauce, then a layer of lasagna noodle. I'm missing cheese here so maybe the ravioli was ricotta based... Oh, the sauce I think was like a bechamel with tomatoes. I think that is common. Then bake. Un-do the springform pan and when you slice it like a cake, the pasta layers shown and it stays together... Maybe, I'm going to have to try pieces and get the sauce where I like it, then the ravioli where I like it then somehow figure out how to put it together so it won't fall apart...

                1. re: whinendine

                  Maybe if you let it rest after you bake, like lasagna or quiche, it will settle into itself and not fall apart...

                2. re: MartiniGenie

                  If you right click on the page, it will bring up a translate bar. I don't know if this helps.


                  1. re: MartiniGenie

                    i can't imagine using bechamel and ricotta ravioli in the same dish.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle

                      About the same as making white lasagna for the ravis. The pasta separates the cheese and sauce.

                      1. re: MartiniGenie

                        i comprehend the construction. it sounds like absolute overkill. yuk.

                        1. re: hotoynoodle

                          Well, the original was done for a special wine dinner and was so delicious that I still think about it over 20 years later. Also, I mentioned it to hubby yesterday and he said it was the best pasta he had ever eaten. He also thought the outside layer was a pastry crust not a pasta noodle. His memory is better so I'll take his word on that.

                      2. re: hotoynoodle

                        I'll have to re-think that. Thank you.

                        1. re: whinendine

                          Thank you everyone for your replies. I think looking at timballo recipes will help with my search although I still cannot find THE one. However, I now have something to work on to get over this obsession....