The Most Whimsical Way To Use Leftover Rigatoni (If You're Patient)

We've all been there before: You got a bit heavy-handed with adding pasta to the boiling water and ended up using a whole box or even an extra box of noodles, much more than you originally intended. Making way too many noodles for dinner is something that happens all the time. You overestimate how much pasta is needed, there's no sauce left, and now you have a pound of cooked rigatoni sitting on your counter with no plan. While pasta salad is always delicious, you could instead turn your leftovers into something a bit more inter and complex — a rigatoni pie.

It looks like a daunting dish to make, but having cooked pasta on hand means you've already fought half the battle. While the classic casserole is a comforting choice, rigatoni pie presents an aesthetically pleasing and innovative alternative. The pie itself has various names and iterations; you could say it's based on or comparable to Greek pastitsio, or what TikTok calls "honeycomb pasta," but most importantly it's delicious! Plus its versatile; rigatoni pie can basically be dressed in any sauce or broiled with any cheese. If you've got leftover pasta taking up space in your fridge, here's how to elevate rigatoni and make an intricately textured rigatoni pie.

Line your pan with leftover rigatoni to make rigatoni pie

We don't expect you to crave rigatoni pie the day you made rigatoni pasta or even the following day. Instead, save your cooked rigatoni (for up to two days) after you've initially boiled it, just make sure to store it properly in an airtight container sans sauce. The cooked rigatoni may even hold its shape better once it has had some time to harden in the fridge, making it a fantastic building block for a fancy pasta pie.

To make rigatoni pie, all you have to do is line a baking dish with rigatoni standing upright so the holes of the tube are facing the top of the dish. With each piece of rigatoni lined next to one another, they will begin to form a honeycomb shape, which is both fun and beautiful to look at. Pour over a sauce of your choice and add cheese to give it a perfectly melted topping. After it's assembled, you'll bake your creation in the oven to heat it through and melt the cheese topping. Once it's done, we recommend letting it cool a little in the pan to firm up. Since the baked pasta resembles a pie more than it does a pasta, letting the whole pie cool a bit will help it keep its shape and allow you to cut out a literal slice of rigatoni pie. It's really the best way to use up any leftover rigatoni or any tubular pasta shape (like ziti or penne) for that matter.