Torta di Ditali or otherwise known in Italian cooking as Ditali Pie, is pasta combined with ground beef, tomato sauce and eggs; then cooked in a pie crust.
My husband’s elderly aunt passed away several years ago and while we were cleaning out her home, we found a few cookbooks that I saved and once in a while peruse for new recipe inspiration. One of the books was an Italian cookbook called The Art of Italian Cooking written by Maria Lo Pinto published in 1948. I’ve tabbed a few recipes to try over the years and was looking for something new to make and happened upon a recipe for Torta di Ditali or Ditali Pie.
The recipe looked easy enough as it only contained a few ingredients, but looked like it would be a hearty, flavorful meal during a busy weeknight. For this recipe you’ll need ditali or ditalini pasta, tomato sauce (either homemade or your favorite store bought variety), grated cheese, lean ground beef (or you could substitute ground turkey or chicken), eggs and pie crust.
I happened to have ditali pasta; which is a short, tubular pasta that I like to use in soup. I also prefer to use store bought refrigerated pie crust because it’s easy and usually have a package in my refrigerator or freezer for last minute gatherings or a quick weeknight meal.
To make this recipe, I first browned my ground beef and cooked my pasta until it was al dente. Whenever you’re cooking pasta that will ultimately be used in other recipes; especially those with sauces, I find that by leaving the pasta a little on the undercooked side, it finishes cooking in the new dish with the added extra moisture from the sauce. If you cook your pasta all the way, it will continue to cook and then the pasta will break apart.
Combine the cooked pasta and ground beef in a bowl; then mix in your tomato sauce and grated cheese (I used Pecorino Romano). If you are using a plain tomato sauce, I would add some fresh chopped basil and garlic, but since I used homemade, my sauce already had it in there.
Next, whisk your eggs; then pour it into the bowl and mix thoroughly. Line one of the pie crusts into a 9″ pie plate, place the mixture on top of the dough; then top with the remaining pie crust. Bake in a 350°F oven for 35-40 minutes until the crust is lightly browned.
I have to say I was a bit skeptical about eating pasta in a pie crust, but it was really good! I think next time I’ll try it with ground turkey or chicken. We served ours with a tossed salad; then sent the rest over to my in-laws who had just gotten back from being in FL for a few months and they enjoyed it as well. I hope you will too!
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Torta di Ditali (Ditali Pie)
- 1 c. Ditali Pasta, dry (can use Ditalini), cooked al dente
- 1 lb. Ground Beef, browned
- 1 c. Tomato Sauce
- 1/4 c. Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated
- 3 lg. Eggs, beaten
- 2 Refrigerated Pie Crust
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Add the cooked pasta, ground beef, sauce, cheese and eggs to a bowl and mix well.
- Place one of the pie crusts into the bottom of a 9" pie plate; then add the pasta mixture. Top with the remaining pie crust and seal the edges by pinching or using the tines from the back of a fork.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until the pie crust is lightly browned.
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