Layered Pasta Ricotta Pie

This recipe is a pain. I will confess to this right up front. It makes for a lot of dirty dishes. It seems fussy. It matters not…it is one of my favorites.

You see…this is a completely wonderful dish to serve to company or to take to a friend with a new baby. Put it in a heart-shaped springform pan-you have a Valentine’s Day to remember.

It comes from a grocery store checkout cookbooklet I bought in the early 90s that is all pies. The cover is missing. No decent information on the publisher at all. I could make guesses based on the products pimped in it…but it is irrelevant really. It isn’t  retro but this recipe makes people swoon.

Please REALLY read all the directions first and as you go along. Otherwise you will end up with some missing egg whites or cheese or generally going “huh?”
Pasta Ricotta Pie Recipe

Layered Pasta Ricotta Pie

Makes 6 to 8 servings ( I feel like it makes a bit more than that-but I tend to serve with sides)

1/4 (1lb package) Creamette Vermicelli (I tend to use about 1/2 of the package and you can use whatever brand you like)
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 cup grated fresh Romano cheese (Yes, I tend to use Parmesan)
3 eggs
1 15 or 16 oz container ricotta cheese
1 10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained. (I mean it, WELL DRAINED. Press it once it is thawed.)
1/2 tsp salt
1 26 oz jar Classico Di Sicilia Ripe Olives and Mushrooms Pasta Sauce (or any chunky pasta sauce with olive and mushrooms)

Preheat oven to 350. Break vermicelli into thirds; cook according to package directions. Drain. Meanwhile, in large skillet, cook onion and garlic in oil until tender; remove from heat. Add cooked vermicelli, 1/2 cup Romano cheese and 1 egg; mix well. Press into well-greased 9-inch springform pan. Combine 2 egg yolks, ricotta, spinach, salt and remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese. Spread over pasta layer. In small mixer bowl, beat 2 egg whites until stiff but not dry; fold into 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce. Pour over spinach mixture. Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until set; let stand 10 minutes. Heat remaining pasta sauce. Serve with pie. Garnish as desired. Refrigerate leftovers. This reheats well.