Does This Work? We Test Out Viral Rigatoni Pie Recipe

jeanette donnarumma does this work rigatoni pie
Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

"Does This Work!?"— hosted by senior culinary producer Jeanette Donnarumma — delves into the great big world of trendy, viral recipes that may or may not work. Don't miss a minute of her delicious hits and messy misses by subscribing here.

You guys have seen this recipe on the internet. It's that recipe where all of the rigatoni pasta are standing up straight and you make it in a springform pan. Not only has “Rigatoni Pie” been filling up all my social media feeds for a while, but it also tugs at the heartstrings of my Italian-American food lovin' heart (and Jersey girl-dom). I mean, I love a baked ziti. I've literally turned into an Italian grandma who has a basement filled of tomato sauce cans that were on sale. So I'm probably the perfect person to give this one a test.

But… How tedious IS stacking the noodles!? Does the sauce get down into the noodles!? Is this pretty recipe worth the effort!? Does it actually stay together or fall apart? How much of a mess do I make!? With a little help from my good friend and YouTube star, Donal Skehan, we find out together! (watch the journey above)

It starts with a pretty basic meat sauce. I've made a lot of meat sauces in my day. When I read the recipe, none of it seemed suspicious. Actually, you only use half an onion. And I actually don't love a recipe that calls for half an onion. You've already got it open. You put it in a plastic bag and you put it in the refrigerator. It stinks up the fridge. Having a recipe that only calls for half an onion is not my favorite recipe. But we're gonna see if the internet is gonna fail us or if we're gonna succeed.

After the sauce making, you prep the noodles, EVOO and an undisclosed amount of Parmesan cheese. The recipe did not tell me to salt the water. That is definitely something I always, absolutely do when I'm making pasta. I feel like Rachael's somewhere in the universe, and she's not happy. 'Cause that's how we always make our pasta here at the show.

Trying to jam all the noodles in a springform pan is kinda like a little pasta puzzle. Good thing I’m always up for a pasta puzzle and not going to let a couple of extra rigatoni noodles show me who’s boss (yes, I got them all in except for a few broken ones that our social media producer Matthew Allen snagged).

The "filling" that you put on top of the pasta before baking it is a mix of ricotta and an egg, which I was actually very happy to see in the recipe. That will help the pasta binds together when it’s baked in the oven.

How did it look coming out of the oven? Oh, my God… so good.

And spoiler alert: it DID stay together when I released it from the springform pan. But it didn’t quite live up to my expectations in the flavor department (watch above for more on this from me and Donal).

So of course I had to FIX it! Get my new-and-improved version of Rigatoni Pie here.

rigatoni pie
Rachael Ray Show

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