Baked Pasta Pie with Cellentani

Recipe courtesy of Hard Rock Cafe.

This hearty make-ahead recipe takes just a few minutes to reheat for service.

3 tablespoons fennel seeds
5 1/4 pounds Barilla Cellentani/Cavatappi pasta
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups drained canned diced tomatoes
5 1/3 cups fajita onions and peppers
1 1/3 cups sauteed mushrooms
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 1/4 pounds hamburger
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 pinch ground allspice
1 pound alfredo sauce
1 pound Barilla marinara sauce
1 1/2 pound sliced mozzarella cheese
2 pound shredded mozzarella cheese
12 cups warm Barilla marinara sauce
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
  1. Cook the Barilla pasta for half the time indicated on the package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some olive oil to prevent from sticking. Place pasta flat on sheet trays or hotel pans and cool in a blast chiller. Alternatively, cool it down in a walk-in cooler. Store in zip lock bags or sealed plastic container; refrigerate and use within several hours.
  2. In a rondo, warm the oil. Stir and cook the tomatoes, fajita mixture, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes until tender. Remove from the heat and reserve.
  3. In another sauté pan, make the seasoned meat: Combine the hamburger, 1/4 cup water, and the meat seasonings. Cook over medium heat until the meat is completely browned. Drain off any excess grease.
  4. In hotel pans, mix together the pasta, vegetables, seasoned meat, alfredo sauce, and 1 pound marinara sauce. Evenly distribute all of the ingredients.
  5. Spray vegetable oil on the inside of four 10-inch springform pans with bottoms attached. Place 6 cups of the pasta filling in each pan and tamp it down until level. Layer the sliced mozzarella over the surface. Top each with another 6 cups pasta filling and tamp it down. Cover the top with the shredded mozzarella. Put the pans on sheet pans and bake in a 350° F oven for 10 minutes, until the cheese is golden. Refrigerate to cool completely.
  6. Cut around the inside edge of the springform pan to remove the pasta pie. Cut the pie into 6 equal pieces. Put each portion into a serving boat or bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

For each serving, to order:

  1. Microwave 1 portion, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Rotate the bowl and microwave again for 1 minute 30 seconds.
  2. Evenly ladle ½ cup warm marinara on each side of the pie and drizzle it on top. Evenly sprinkle parsley over the surface.