My Italian neighbor showed me this dish, and we knew we had to snag the recipe!


1 pound Mostaccioli pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage

1 (24-ounce) jar of your favorite 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)


Preheat the Oven: Set it to 375°F (190°C) to get ready for the magic to happen.

Pasta Prep: Boil Mostaccioli in salted water until al dente, then drain.

Sauté: In a skillet, heat olive oil and cook the onion and garlic until soft.

Brown the Meat: Add your choice of meat to the skillet, cooking until no pink remains. Drain any excess fat.

Simmer the Sauce: Add the marinara sauce to the meat, letting the flavors blend for a few minutes.

Combine: Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce, half the mozzarella, and half the Parmesan.

Bake: Transfer to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese, and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden.

Rest and Serve: Let the dish cool slightly before serving, garnished with fresh basil if desired.

Variations & Tips:

Lighten it up with ground turkey and part-skim cheeses.

Get adventurous with roasted vegetables for added flavor and nutrition.

Prep ahead for an easy meal; it’s even freezer-friendly for future dinners.

Allowing the dish to rest post-baking ensures perfect serving and flavor integration.

Leftovers reheat well, offering a delicious encore of the night before.

Baked Mostaccioli is more than just a meal; it’s a testament to the joy of simple, good food shared with loved ones. Dive into this dish and let its comforting embrace and delicious flavors bring a taste of Italy straight to your table.

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