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Baked Pasta Pie

Baked Pasta Pie

From: Chef John Storms, Hard Rock Café. Yield: 24 servings.

3 Tbsp. fennel seeds
5¼ lb. cellentani/cavatappi, radiatore or orecchiette pasta
6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
8 cups canned diced tomatoes, drained
5-1/3 cups fajita onions and peppers
1-1/3 cups mushrooms, sautéed
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
5¼ lb. hamburger
2 Tbsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. black pepper, coarsely ground
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1tsp. sugar
1 pinch ground allspice
1 lb. alfredo sauce
1 lb. marinara sauce, prepared
1 ½ lb. mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 lb. mozzarella cheese, shredded
12 cups marinara sauce, warm
¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Cook pasta for half the time indicated in package. Drain pasta and drizzle with some of the olive oil to prevent 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.

In a rondo, warm the oil. Stir and cook tomatoes, fajita mixture, mushrooms, garlic, oregano and pepper flakes until tender. Remove from the heat and reserve.

In another sauté pan, make the seasoned meat: Combine hamburger, ¼ cup water and the meat seasonings. Cook over medium heat until meat is completely browned. Drain off any excess grease.

In hotel pans, mix together pasta, vegetables, seasoned meat, alfredo sauce and 1 lb. marinara sauce. Evenly distribute all of the ingredients. Spray vegetable oil on inside of four 10” springform pans with bottoms attached. Place 6 cups of 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 shredded mozzarella. Put pans on sheet pans and bake in a 350°F oven for 10 minutes, until cheese is golden. Refrigerate to cool completely.

Cut around the inside edge of the springform pan to remove pasta pie. Cut 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: Microwave 1 portion, uncovered, for 2 minutes. Rotate bowl and microwave again for 1½ minutes. Evenly ladle ½ cup warm marinara on each side of pie and drizzle it on top. Evenly sprinkle parsley over the surface.

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