Baked Mostaccoli Recipe

wpid-20150215_172129.jpgI am not going to lie…I asked my mom for this recipe going on 8 years ago to impress a boy. He was from an Italian family and not from around here and I wanted to give him a delicious warm meal that would remind him of home. I will report that is worked 🙂 He married me about 3 years later. I still make this recipe for numerous occasions. It is nice to make big family dinners. It freezes well so it is an excellent make-ahead meal. I made a batch prior to the birth of each of our children and whenever I want to have lunches or leftovers for the week.

This is a warm, gooey, yummy dish that I hope you enjoy!

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 x jars of spaghetti sauce (I like Herb & Garlic)
  • 1 x can tomato sauce
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 box mostaccoli (this is difficult to find in my area so I usually use rotini)
  • Shredded Parmesan
  • 12 slices of mozzarella (grab 2 packs)
  • Salt & pepper
  • Olive oil

Optional Ingredients (chopped)

  • Onion
  • Green pepper
  • Mushrooms

wpid-20150215_155148.jpgDIRECTIONS

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Brown meat and other optional ingredients in a pan on medium-high heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain any excess liquid.
  3. Mixed all sauces and meat into a bowl.
  4. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box. Lightly coat with olive oil.
  5. In a 9 x 13 pan, layer your ingredients:
    1. Meat mixture
    2. Pasta
    3. Meat mixture
    4. mozzarella
    5. Parmesan
    6. Repeat 1-5
  6. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until nice and bubbly.

My Hook: There could be 1001 variations of this recipe. The base of this recipe: meat, pasta and cheese. Be creative and custom this for your family! You can layer this however you would like. I do not layer it the same every time (sometimes on purpose and sometimes on accident!)

I like to use rotini since it can grab a hold of the meat, sauce and cheese better than a smooth pasta. I do get the hidden veggie pasta since right now I do not add additional veggies with little ones in the house.I stick with mozzarella since it is mild and a nice melting cheese.