Cavatappi with Sugo and Meatballs

serves: 6 servings

1 pound cavatappi
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups sugo
8 meatballs , sliced in 1/4-inch rounds
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, freshly grated
2 cups mozzarella, shredded


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook cavatappi in a large pot of boiling, salted water until slightly underdone, 8 to 9 minutes (always a bit less than package directions). While the pasta is cooking, pour the sugo in the skillet and heat it slowly. Butter the bottom and sides of the baking dish with 2 tablespoons of the butter.

Drain the cooked cavatappi in a colander, shake off excess water, and dump it into the pan. Toss pasta and sauce briefly until coated, then fold in the meatball slices for a minute or so to heat them.

Turn off the heat, sprinkle on 2/3 cup of the grated cheese and 1 cup of the shredded cheese and fold in. Drop the remaining butter in bits on the pasta, fold in quickly and turn everything into the baking dish.

Spread the pasta level in the dish, sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese all over and then the remaining grated cheese.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the top is crusty and nicely colored.