Neapolitan Tagliolini Pasta Pie (Crostata)

Neapolitan Tagliolini Pasta Pie (Crostata)

Baked pasta comes in many forms here in Italy, especially in the Southern regions. This wonderful looking Neapolitan tagliolini pasta pie is pretty easy to make. It’s also a tasty alternative way to serve tagliolini or tagliatelle.

tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

Crostata di Tagliolini

When you think about baked pasta, what comes to mind? For most people baked pasta usually means baked pasta tubes like rigatoni or tortiglioni al forno or lasagna al forno. Traditionally both are made with a meat ragu, white béchamel sauce and lots of cheese! However, there are vegetarian versions too.

tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

These dishes are the ultimate in comfort food and much loved in Italy and abroad. But actually, Italians bake pasta in so many different ways. Some, like this tagliolini pasta pie, are quite easy to make. Others are very complicated and require a lot of stages of preparation.

ingredients for tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

Crostata and Timballo

Pasta pies are especially popular in the south of Italy, where they are often eaten on feast days and holidays.  There are 2 main types of pasta pies, ‘crostata’ and ‘timballo’.  Of course, each of these has many versions depending on local culinary traditions and ingredients.

onions and pancetta cooking in frying pan

Pasta crostata, like this tagliolini pasta pie, are open pies made with or without a pastry base. Italians also use crostata to refer to open fruit pies or tarts made with chunks of fruit. In timballo, the pasta, sauce and other ingredients are usually encased in pastry or breadcrumbs or wrapped in a vegetable, usually eggplant. Take a look at my recipe and post for parmigiana timballo and read about the history of timballo recipes in Italy.

peas, onions and pancetta cooking in frying pan

Crostata or timballo made with pastry (usually puff pastry or shortcrust) can be pretty complicated to make. These are more likely to be served on holidays and are particularly traditional at Easter. I guess one of the most famous versions of a timballo pasta pie is the ‘timpano’ (Neapolitan dialect for timballo) from the 1996 film Big Night. Have you seen it?

cooked tagliolini, ham, pancetta, peas and onions in frying pan

Different versions of tagliolini pasta pie

This tagliolini pasta pie recipe comes from Campania and like other similar recipes has many versions. It can be made with béchamel or tomato sauce. Some people also add eggs or a meat ragu. I would say this is one of the simplest tagliolini pasta pie recipes. However, it looks beautiful, tastes great and isn’t so time-consuming!

ingredients in ring cake tin for tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

Making this pasta pie

I used a cake ring tin but you can also use a normal spring form cake tin. This pasta pie doesn’t actually need to be turned out so you can also just cut slices from it whilst it’s still in the tin or baking dish. Using a ring cake tin meant I had to turn it twice to get the crispy part on top. This is a bit risky! But, I felt the finished version looked so nice, it was worth it!

mozzarella slices on top of pasta layer in ring cake tin

The secret is to let the tagliolini pasta pie stand for about 20 minutes before turning it out. This also allows time for the cheese to solidify slightly so you don’t get stringy mozzarella and it helps hold the pie together. These pasta pies are usually eaten tepid rather than very hot. However, you can stick the pie back in the oven for 5 minutes after slicing it, if you prefer to eat it hotter.

tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

The next pasta crostata recipe I want to make is one with pastry! In the meantime I do hope you’ll give this one a try. I’m sure you’ll love it! And, if you make this tagliolini pasta pie recipe I’d love to hear how it turns out and if you liked it. Please leave a comment here on the blog or on The Pasta Project Facebook page.

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Buon appetito!

tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

Save this recipe for later?

If you want to save this recipe for later, you can print it, bookmark this page or save it to Pinterest.

5 from 23 votes
tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)
Neapolitan Tagliolini Pasta Pie
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Resting time
15 mins
Total Time
1 hr

A delicious alternative way to serve baked pasta that's also pretty easy to put together

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Campania, Italian, Southern Italian
Keyword: baked pasta recipe, crostata, pasta bake, pasta pie, tagliolini
Servings: 4
Author: Jacqueline De Bono
  • 320 g tagliolini egg pasta I used Giovanni Rana. You can also use tagliatelle (13oz)
  • 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
  • 300 g peas fresh or frozen (10 oz)
  • 200 g mozzarella about 2 large balls (7oz)
  • 120 g Parmesan cheese grated (4.5oz)
  • 150 g cooked ham about 3 thick slices (3.5oz)
  • 100 g pancetta cubes or lardons (3.5 oz)
  • 50 g breadcrumbs (2oz)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • butter as required
  • salt for pasta and to taste
  • black pepper to taste
  1. Drain and slice the mozzarella. Cut the cooked ham into cubes. Peel and finely chop the onion. Cut the pancetta into cubes if needed

Make the sauce
  1. Sauté the chopped onion with a knob of butter and a tbsp of olive oil until it starts to soften slightly. Add the pancetta. Cook for another minute or 2 then add the frozen peas and cook for about 10-15 minutes. Add a ladle of water to stop it drying out. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook the pasta
  1. Boil a pot of water for the pasta. Add salt once it starts to boil and bring to the boil again. Cook the pasta very al dente according to the instructions on the packet (fresh tagliolini only needs about 2 minutes!). Drain the pasta. Return it to the pan or put it in a bowl. 

  2. Add one third of the Parmesan, the cooked ham and another knob of butter and mix well to coat the pasta with butter and cheese 

Add the pasta and ham to the peas and pancetta and mix well again.
    Finish your pasta pie
    1. Grease a cake tin or baking dish with butter. Form a thick layer of the tagliolini mixture. Sprinkle it with more Parmesan. Then cover with a layer of mozzarella and some breadcrumbs. Add the remaining pasta, another sprinkling of Parmesan, more mozzarella slices and finally cover with the remaining breadcrumbs and some butter flakes.

    2. Bake the pasta in a preheated oven at 200 ° C for 25 minutes. When the tagliolini pasta pie is ready it should be nice and crispy on top. Let it stand for ten minutes and then serve. 

    3. N.B. If you want to turn the pasta pie out onto a serving dish you may need to let it sit for longer (about 20 minutes) The pie will need to be turned twice to get the crispy part on top. First time it will be upside down. Place another serving dish on top and turn again.

    Recipe Notes

    You can use tagliatelle instead of tagliolini. It's also traditional in for this recipe.

    Pin for Later

    tagliolini pasta pie (crostata)

    You May Also Like


    • Avatar
      May 29, 2019 1:55 am

      When I think about baked pasta, I mostly think of lasagna, of course. But I was wondering what are the other ways to bake pasta. This recipe looks absolutely delicious – very excited to try it.

      • Jacqui
        May 30, 2019 8:30 am

        I’m sure you’ll want to make this pasta pie time and again Mimi! Here in Italy there are so many fabulous baked pasta recipes but this is definitely one of my favourites!

    • Avatar
      May 29, 2019 1:52 am

      I’ve never tried making a pie from pasta – such a great idea. I definitely need to try it at home now and surprise everyone in the house! 🙂

      • Jacqui
        May 30, 2019 8:31 am

        I’m sure your family will love this pasta pie April! It’s tasty, not difficult to make and looks so beautiful!

    • Avatar
      May 27, 2019 12:20 pm

      Baked pasta was relatively new to me until I tried it last year and loved it. Your pasta pie looks like a perfect meal for kids as well as for adults. I love the way you have baked this pie.

    • Avatar
      Maman de sara
      May 27, 2019 6:28 am

      I would love to give this pasta pie a try, that looks and sounds delicious.

      • Jacqui
        May 27, 2019 10:59 am

        Thank you! I’m sure you’ll love this pasta pie! It is a great recipe!

    • Avatar
      May 26, 2019 10:50 am

      Oh Em Gee this looks delicious! I’ve never had a pasta pie before but it looks so good I’m gonna have to give it a go!

      Katie xoxo

    • Avatar
      Jere Cassidy
      May 25, 2019 3:11 am

      What a unique recipe and it looks easy and delicious. I always want to eat all your pasta dishes.

    • Avatar
      May 24, 2019 5:23 am

      Ham and cheese and noodles. Yes, please! Baking the pasta is a really unique twist!

    • Avatar
      Lydia Smith
      May 24, 2019 5:05 am

      I know I’ll one day visit Italy because of pasta, didn’t know they had various types of it. Pasta pie sounds nice and km looking forward to treating myself to it.

    • Avatar
      Jenni LeBaron
      May 23, 2019 7:13 pm

      I’ve never seen a dish like this and I am super intrigued. I bet it gets the perfect amount of crunch on top and is packed with salty goodness. I especially appreciate the pancetta and mozzarella balls! YUM!

    • Avatar
      May 23, 2019 12:11 am

      I have never had a pasta pie before but this looks really cool. I love your history of the orgins of different italian dishes. Thank you for your easy to follow recipe. I feel like I could make this!!

    • Avatar
      May 22, 2019 6:17 pm

      This looks so cool. I’ve never had a pasta pie before, but it looks awesome!

    • Avatar
      May 22, 2019 12:35 pm

      My dad used to make something similar (pasta pie) but a slightly sweet version with thin macaroni and cheese – when I go home this summer will have to ask him to make it for us. I will however save this delicious savoury version as I am definitely more of a savoury person nowadays. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:41 pm

        Happy you like this recipe dear Ramona! Your dad’s version sounds good too! I’ve never made a sweet pasta pie. I have to try that!

    • Avatar
      Stephanie Simmons
      September 3, 2018 5:05 pm

      This looks incredibly delicious! I’ve never had a pasta pie but given that I’m a pie lover, I think I would enjoy this type of pie as well!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:40 pm

        Grazie Stephanie! Pasta pies are so delicious. I’m sure you’ll think the same if you make this one!

    • Avatar
      September 3, 2018 2:15 am

      Great comfort food! I could go for this right now! I love a good pasta recipe. I used to hate peas in my pasta but that was until I tried a bloggers pasta with peas recipe and it was soooo good. Now I love peas in pasta. I can’t wait to try your recipe out.

      • Jacqui
        September 3, 2018 10:43 am

        We love pasta with peas too April. It’s very traditional in both North and South Italy! I’m sure you’ll love this dish if you make it!

    • Avatar
      September 1, 2018 3:56 pm

      We really love your pasta recipes. Can’t wait to try this one as our main course this weekend. Thanks for sharing awesome recipes.

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:38 pm

        Thanks so much Arjhon! So happy you like the recipes here! I’m sure you’ll really love this tagliolini pasta pie too!

    • Avatar
      September 1, 2018 1:57 pm

      You are right, these are some of the best comfort dishes. We often make pasta pies, but not like this. Your version sounds very interesting and would love to try it.

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:37 pm

        Thank you Mirlene, I’m sure you’ll love making and eating this type of pasta pie!

    • Avatar
      Stine Mari
      August 31, 2018 10:32 pm

      It looks a little similar to something my dad makes, but with macaroni. I think using tagliatelle sounds delicious too!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:36 pm

        Tagliatelle is perfect too in this recipe Stine Mari! We make pasta pies with maccheroni too! Always delicious!

    • Avatar
      August 31, 2018 7:06 pm

      As a pasta gal, I don’t mind having this for my birthday cake. Look at that layer of goodness and how creamy it is. Definitely something that needs to happen soon!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:35 pm

        What a great birthday cake this would make Linda! I might even do the same, I love pasta so much too!

    • Avatar
      August 30, 2018 2:25 am

      THIS is AWESOME!! I am such a pasta lover. What a great dish to entertain with. I am printing it off right now. This will be happening soon in our house. I cannot wait to devour this…..what a great dinner it will be.

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:34 pm

        Thanks so much Gloria! Yes this is one to impress your guests with!

    • Avatar
      August 29, 2018 7:45 pm

      I have never made this actually so now I have something to try. I may try it with peas and ham also!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:33 pm

        Am sure you’ll love this tagliolini pasta pie Michelle!

    • Avatar
      August 29, 2018 5:37 pm

      Those slices of fresh mozzarella look so good. I have a weakness for fresh mozzarella and baked pasta. Looks like I need to make this ASAP!

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:33 pm

        It’s the mozzarella which really makes this dish so yummy Amanda! I’m a big mozzarella fan too!

    • Avatar
      Adriana Lopez Martin
      August 29, 2018 7:30 am

      One of my best friends is Italian and she introduced me to pasta pies. Such a lovely way to repurpose pasta and to enjoy a yummy meal. Really like your combination I wish I could try your version.

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:30 pm

        Thanks for commenting Adriana! Yes pasta pies are a lovely way to serve pasta! I’m sure you’ll enjoy this one if you make it!

    • Avatar
      Kelly Anthony
      August 28, 2018 7:57 pm

      I love peas in my pasta so I can’t wait to give this a try. I have never baked noodles in a cake tin so this will be a new and exciting way of cooking for me.

      • Jacqui
        May 22, 2019 1:29 pm

        Thanks Kelly! Pasta pies are great fun and delicious too! I’m sure you’ll love this dish!

    • Avatar
      Vickie altadonna
      August 28, 2018 10:13 am

      I’m looking for your recipe for pasta wrapped in eggplant I seen it and wanted to share it to my page because I wanted to save it so I could try it but when I tried to share it it disappeared maybe I did something wrong as I not very good with this kind of stuff lol any help finding that recipe will be very appreciated thanks

      • Jacqui
        August 28, 2018 10:41 am

        Hi Vickie, I’m sorry to hear you have a problem to share the parmigiana timballo recipe. The actual recipes appear on page 2 of many of my posts. So you have to click 2 at the bottom of the first page. However, here is a link to the actual recipe. You can print it or share it to your Facebook timeline by clicking on the Facebook symbol that you can see ‘floating’ on the page. If you use Pinterest you can also share it there. Just click on any Pinterest button on the article or recipe. Please let me know if you still have problems. I’m happy to send you a link by email if you prefer. Greetings from Verona!

    • Avatar
      Joan DePalma
      August 23, 2018 5:06 pm

      It looks very interesting. I would have liked you to convert the grams to cups or ounces for the American user.

      • Jacqui
        August 28, 2018 10:44 am

        Dear Joan, I understand the problem with my recipes not having imperial measurements. I am researching a way to have a converter in the recipes. In the meantime I have added quantities in ounces to the ingredients for this recipe. I hope that you’ll give it a try!

    Leave a Reply

    Recipe Rating