Pizza Pasta

Pizza di Pasta

Mary Ann Esposito

SERVES 4 TO 6

How about a pizza di pasta? This dish has all the components without the crust or the cheese! Make this rigatoni and clam dish ahead of time for busy nights; it is easy to put together and can be baked on a pizza pan, cookie sheet, or in a casserole dish. Some advice about clams - cooking them over low heat will prevent them from becoming tough.

INGREDIENTS

3 tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 large cloves garlic, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
Two 10-ounce cans minced clams, drained and liquid reserved
Fine sea salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
12 ounces #31 rigatoni, cooked according to the package directions
4 anchovy fillets in oil, drained and cut into bits
1 1/2 cups fresh or canned plum tomatoes (3 or 4), diced
8 oil-cured black olives, pitted and diced
1 teaspoon dried oregano

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Brush a 14-inch pizza pan with a rim, a 15 by 11 1/2-inch baking sheet, or a 13 1/2 by 9-inch quart ovenproof casserole with 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Set aside.

In a sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and slowly cook the garlic in the oil over medium heat just until it starts to turn golden brown. Remove and discard the garlic. Add the clams and the reserved clam juice. Cook for 2 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir in the salt, pepper, parsley, and basil and cook slowly until the liquid is reduced by half.

Mix the cooked rigatoni with the clam mixture, then spread it evenly over the pizza pan, baking sheet, or casserole. Sprinkle the anchovies over the pasta, then the tomatoes, olives, and oregano. Drizzle the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil over the top. Bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve at once.

Tip: An olive pitter (lo snocciolive) makes quick work out of pitting olives and cherries.

Note: Prepare this dish several hours ahead up to the baking point. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Note: If you prefer a "thicker" pizza, use a 12-inch round pan.

item recipe is featured in Episode 0 of Season 0.

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