Authentic Baked Mostaccioli






Authentic Baked Mostaccioli: A Taste of Italy at Your Table

Authentic Baked Mostaccioli: A Taste of Italy at Your Table

Indulge in the flavors of Italy with this exquisite dish, graciously shared by my Italian neighbor. Baked Mostaccioli, a hearty and comforting meal, is the epitome of culinary delight, perfect for sharing with loved ones. Let’s embark on this culinary journey together and savor every flavorful bite.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Mostaccioli pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage
  • 1 (24-ounce) jar of your preferred marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil for garnish (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the Oven: Set the oven to 375°F (190°C) and prepare for the culinary magic that awaits.
  2. Pasta Perfection: Cook the Mostaccioli pasta in salted water until it reaches al dente perfection, then drain and set aside.
  3. Sauté Brilliance: In a skillet, heat olive oil and sauté the finely chopped onion and minced garlic until they turn soft and fragrant.
  4. Savory Meat: Add the ground beef or Italian sausage to the skillet, cooking until it loses its pink hue. Drain any excess fat for a lighter touch.
  5. Flavor Fusion: Introduce the marinara sauce to the meat, allowing them to simmer together, harmonizing their flavors into a delectable melody.
  6. Unite and Enhance: Combine the cooked pasta with the savory sauce, incorporating half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheese, elevating every bite with richness and depth.
  7. Bake to Perfection: Transfer the pasta mixture to a baking dish, generously topping it with the remaining cheeses and a sprinkle of Italian seasoning. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, until the cheese achieves a golden, bubbly perfection.
  8. Let It Settle, Then Serve: Allow the dish to cool slightly before serving, enhancing its flavors and ensuring a perfect dining experience. Garnish with fresh basil for a touch of vibrant color and aromatic freshness.

Variations & Tips:

  • Lighten the dish by opting for ground turkey and part-skim cheeses, without compromising on flavor or satisfaction.
  • Elevate the dish with the addition of roasted vegetables, imparting an extra layer of flavor and nutritional goodness.
  • Plan ahead and prepare this dish in advance for effortless meals, or freeze it for future culinary delights.
  • Resting the dish post-baking allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a harmonious and unforgettable dining experience.
  • Embrace the joy of leftovers, as Baked Mostaccioli reheats beautifully, offering a delightful encore of flavors and memories.

Baked Mostaccioli transcends mere sustenance; it embodies the essence of Italian cuisine, inviting you to savor the simple pleasures of good food and cherished company. Delight in its comforting embrace and let its flavors transport you to the sun-kissed shores of Italy, right at your own table. Buon Appetito!


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