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- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 ounces packaged dried bucatini pasta or spaghetti
- 3 cups thinly sliced sweet onions (2 large)
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound frozen cooked Italian meatballs, thawed
- 1 24 ounce jar purchased tomato and basil pasta sauce or marinara sauce
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (6 ounces)
- Small fresh basil leaves
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
- 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 two of the eggs and the grated Parmesan cheese; set aside. In a large saucepan cook pasta according to package directions. Drain pasta; return to saucepan. Add egg mixture, tossing to coat. Press pasta mixture into bottom of prepared springform pan, building up side slightly. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook onions, covered, in hot butter over medium-low heat about 15 minutes or until onions are tender and lightly browned, 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, the snipped basil, and the pepper. Spread ricotta cheese mixture over pasta crust. Top with caramelized onions. Place springform pan on a large pizza pan or baking sheet (if using a baking dish, place it 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).
- Tent pie lightly with foil; bake for 45 to 50 minutes more or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese. Let stand, uncovered, on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut pie into wedges. Garnish with basil leaves and shaved Parmesan cheese before serving. Heat and pass remaining pasta sauce.