Baked Mostaccioli Recipe

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Dinner | September 5, 2017 | By

Baked Mostaccioli Recipe with ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Tender pasta and homemade meat sauce blanketed in layers of cheese. An easy, classic recipe. 

I’ve been like a kid on summer vacation the last few weeks. Sleeping in, reading books from the library, swimming and alas, not tackling chores I should have.

It was a good summer but Labor Day has passed, the school buses are rolling again and it’s officially time I stop slacking starting with an easy, delicious dish to feed the family or a crowd over to watch the game. This Baked Mostaccioli Recipe covers all the bases. 

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

I’ve made pasta more times than I can count because I just love the stuff. If it weren’t for the darn calorie factor, I would eat it every day.

I wanted to create a recipe using some of my favorite pantry sauce ingredients you can make year around. The result is this Baked Mostaccioli ~ one, two three-cheesy and packed with bold, delicious tomato flavor.

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

You can use white pasta or whole grain and mostaccioli, ziti or penne pasta work well.

This recipe easily feeds a crowd. Warm up some garlic bread and a salad and it’s guaranteed to please. You can even make the mostaccioli ahead of time and let it bake while you watch the game or catch up with friends. 

I added fresh herbs, one the best ways to elevate an everyday dish and though this isn’t a 30 minute stove-to-table recipe, the prep time is quick (about 10 minutes) and once it’s in the oven you can do whatever feel like doing,

If you’ve ever been to a sports banquet, you’ll realize pretty quickly this isn’t your typical sports banquet mostaccioli. Layers of pasta blanketed in cheese plus a homemade tomato sauce set it apart. Way far apart.

It’s not as labor intensive as lasagna ~ just simple, unpretentious and delicious. No one needs to know how quick it is to prepare; they’ll be focused the flavor.

Tips:

  1. Generously season the pasta water so every ingredient in your dish is flavored. Pasta sets the groundwork for the dish.
  2. Try buying tomato paste in a tube (similar to toothpaste). It stores easily in the refrigerator and you use only as much as you like without waste.
  3. Dry talian Seasoning is a great spice to keep on hand for dishes like this and many others. it’s the ideal balance of marjoram, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano and basil.

What’s in this easy Baked Mostaccioli? 

  • mostaccioli, penne, ziti or other short cut pasta
  • reserved pasta water
  • olive oil
  • ground round (or ground chuck, drained after cooking)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • onion
  • fresh mushrooms
  • garlic cloves
  • tomato paste
  • dry Italian seasoning
  • tomato sauce
  • fresh parsley
  • ricotta cheese
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella cheese
  • butter

How to make Baked Mostaccioli:

Cook the pasta just before it reaches al dente (usually 2 minutes less than the shortest time on the package). It’ll finish cooking as it bakes. Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water then drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.

Warm a deep skillet over medium-high heat then add a drizzle of olive oil, the ground beef, onions, (optional) mushrooms and grated garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beef is no longer pink, breaking up the clumps with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Once the beef is cooked, lower the heat to medium, fold in the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, reserved pasta water, parsley and tomato sauce and cook 3-4 minutes.

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Blend in the ricotta then add the pasta, combining completely.

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Butter (yes butter) a 9×13 baking dish, then add half of the mostaccioli to the baking dish. Top with half of the mozzarella then add the rest of the mostaccioli, the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Bake uncovered at 350° for 40 minutes. Serve with your favorite red wine, bakery bread or garlic toast and salad. 

If you like this ;Baked Mostaccioli recipe but have your heart set on lasagna, try this any-night Skillet Lasagna ~ a simple yet decadent, one-pan recipe ideal for weeknights.

Enjoy!

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Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Baked Mostaccioli ~ blanketed in layers of robust tomato flavor, 3 cheeses and baked. Easy prep and a great dish for a crowd.

Baked Mostaccioli

Three cheese baked Mostaccioli in a rich, flavorful homemade sauce. 
PIN for later!
Print Recipe
CourseMain Course
CuisineItalian
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Servings6

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces pasta mostaccioli, penne, ziti or other short pasta
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground round
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 4 ounces fresh mushrooms sliced OPTIONAL
  • 3 cloves garlic grated
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 28 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped parsley
  • ½ cup ricotta
  • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Instructions

  • Cook the pasta just BEFORE it reaches al dente (this is usually 2 minutes less than the shortest cooking time on the package). RESERVE ¼ cup of pasta water then drain the pasta and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • Warm a deep skillet over medium-high heat then add a drizzle of olive oil, the ground beef, onions, (optional) mushrooms and grated garlic. Season with salt and pepper and cook until the beef is no longer pink, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  • Once the beef is cooked, fold in the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, reserved pasta water, parsley and tomato sauce and cook 3-4 minutes then fold in the ricotta and pasta, combining completely.
  • Butter a 9×13 baking dish, then add half of the mostaccioli to the dish. Top with half of the mozzarella then add the rest of the mostaccioli, the remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese then bake uncovered at 350° for 25 minutes. Serve hot.

Notes

NOTE : (1) Ground chuck can be used but drain any excess grease after cooking. (2) Cottage cheese drained of its liquid can be used instead of ricotta.

Comments

  1. Leave a Reply

    Ray
    September 5, 2017

    Rich flavor and just the right combination ingredients. The only thing extra that is needed is a fine bottle of Chianti.

  2. Leave a Reply

    Mary
    September 6, 2017

    Your trips sound so fun…that’s a lot of salmon! Can’t wait for your future recipes, especially the chicken pesto mac & cheese. Really sounds yummy! Happy you had a good summer vacation, but glad you’re back. Take care. Chat soon, my friend.

    • Leave a Reply

      Bernie
      September 7, 2017

      Hey there Mary ~ it was! Summer was great, just too fast. Hopefully you enjoyed yours as well. Have a good weekend and let’s chat again next week, friend!

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