Diane Mrak's Pasta Torta

My friend Diane Mrak’s unique dessert tart is made with fresh pasta. Try it, you’ll like it.


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup King Arthur™ Unbleached, All-Purpose Flour
  • 4 ounces dried pasta, cooked and drained (leftover pasta is fine)
  • 1 cup milk (for richer filling, use Half & Half)
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter or margarine
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 medium apples, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
  • 1/2 cup dried sour cherries (substitution of dried cranberries or raisins is fine)
  • 1/2 cup plus ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • Cinnamon sugar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries, blueberries or peaches (optional)


  2. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  3. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla with mixer until smooth. Add flour and mix by hand until blended.
  4. Press dough along the bottom and up the sides of a 10 1/2-inch fluted tart pan with removable bottom.
  5. You may make this tart with or without a crust. If not using a crust, bake your tart in a solid bottom tart dish or a pie dish.
  6. Combine milk, butter, sugar and eggs. Grate apples into mixture. Add almond flavoring, dried sour cherries and 1/2 cup almonds. (If using optional fresh fruit, add it here.) Add the cooked pasta and mix well.
  7. Pour into the prepared tart crust or the solid tart pan.
  8. If you wish, sprinkle the top with about 2 teaspoons of cinnamon sugar.
  9. Bake for 1 hour or until a knife comes out clean. Serve warm or cold.
  10. Decorate with whipped cream and fresh fruit, if desired.
  11. For a special occasion, make pasta flowers to decorate the top of the tart.
  12. If you wish to use a 9-inch tart pan, reduce pasta to 3 ounces of dried pasta, milk to 3/4 cup, sugar to 1/3 cup and butter to 5 1/2 tablespoons.
  13. For Diabetics or low sugar diets, substitute another apple for all sugar or add only 1/4 cup.

This recipe was featured on Season 9 - Episode 908.

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Dear Mary Ann,
My aunt and I are devoted fans. Within the past four months, she developed a gluten intolerance. Do you have any tips for gluten-free cooking? It has been a challenge — first to find gluten-free products and then to figure out how to cook and bake to achieve results that taste “familiar”! If you can provide recipes or techniques that we can use, I’d be very grateful.

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