Growing up in a big Italian family there were many food traditions that we had throughout the year, macaroni pie being one of them. We typically made this easy, delicious pasta dish at Easter time along with other family favorites such as sweet rice pie and Easter bread. It became a tradition in my family to serve the macaroni pie for dinner the day before Easter after spending the day baking Easter bread. We’d have a nice big slice and relax while watching “The Ten Commandments” on TV. Such great memories!
This dish is made with perciatelli pasta (pronounced pear-chuh-TELL-lee) however, bucatini is also fine as they are both the same cut which is a long, thin, tube like pasta. The key to great macaroni pie is lots of cheese and letting the macaroni soak after cooking so that it plumps up. Be sure to cook the macaroni very al dente as it will both soak and bake. If you overcook it from the start, your macaroni pie will be very mushy. Also, this is a very black pepper heavy dish so if you’re not a huge pepper fan feel free to cut it back to suit your tastes.
- 1 lb perciatelli or bucatini pasta
- 10 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 6-8 oz grated cheese (I prefer Pecorino Romano)
- 1-2 tbs coarse ground black pepper
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Extra-virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large pot of boiling water, cook the macaroni until very al dente. Once it’s done cooking drain off most of the water leaving just enough to cover the macaroni. Set the pot aside off of the hot burner and let the macaroni cool until it swells and gets soft, about 10-15 minutes.
While the macaroni is cooling, mix together the beaten eggs, grated cheese, salt and pepper.
Drain off the macaroni and give it a quick rinse under cool water, if it’s is too warm when you add the egg and cheese mixture it will cook the eggs. Combine the cooled macaroni with the egg and cheese, mix well.
Spray a 9X13 dish with cooking spray, pour the macaroni in. Lightly mist or brush olive oil all over the top so that the macaroni browns as it bakes. Cook for about an hour or until it’s lightly browned and the center is set. Cool for 10-15 minutes, then slice and serve.