Three cheese baked Mostaccioli in a rich, flavorful homemade sauce.
Course: Main Course
8ouncespastamostaccioli, penne, ziti or other short pasta
1medium onionfinely chopped
4ouncesfresh mushroomssliced OPTIONAL
28ouncecan tomato sauce
¼cupfresh chopped parsley
½cupgrated parmesan cheese
3cupsgrated mozzarella cheese
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 25-30 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Serve hot.
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.