- Grease a 10-inch springform pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper or foil. Grease parchment or foil; set pan aside. Or, grease a 2-quart square baking dish.
- For pasta crust, in a small bowl stir together 2 of the eggs and the grated Parmesan cheese; set aside. In a large saucepan cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return pasta to saucepan. Add egg mixture, tossing to coat. Press pasta mixture into bottom of prepared pan, building up sides slightly. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onions, covered, in hot butter over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until tender and light brown, stirring occasionally. Uncover; increase heat to medium. Cook about 5 minutes more or until onions are golden brown, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a small bowl stir together the remaining egg, the ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons basil, and the pepper. Spread ricotta cheese mixture over pasta crust. Top with caramelized onions. Place springform pan on a large baking sheet. (If using a baking dish, it can go directly on the oven rack.) Bake for 15 minutes. Spoon 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce over layers in pan. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese.
- Toss meatballs with 3/4 cup of the pasta sauce and 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Arrange meatball mixture over layers in pan, forming a mound. Top with 1/2 cup of the remaining pasta sauce (reserve remaining pasta sauce and mozzarella cheese).
- Cover pie loosely with foil. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes more or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Using parchment paper, lift pie out of pan. Using a serrated knife, cut pie into wedges. If desired, garnish with snipped fresh parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese before serving. Heat and pass remaining pasta sauce.
From the Test Kitchen
For a lighter recipe, substitute reduced-fat versions of the ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese.
Nutrition Facts (Meatball Pie)
- Per serving:
- 542 kcal ,
- 29 g fat
- (15 g sat. fat ,
- 1 g polyunsaturated fat ,
- 5 g monounsaturated fat ),
- 157 mg chol. ,
- 1029 mg sodium ,
- 41 g carb. ,
- 5 g fiber ,
- 11 g sugar ,
- 29 g pro.