Saturday, April 2, 2011

Baked Mostaccioli

This is one of my family's favorites.  I think that it is probably most peoples favorite.  Who doesn't like pasta drowning in red sauce and smothered with melted cheese?  And besides the fact that it is delicious when it first comes out of the oven, it is even better as left-overs the next day.  By then, the herbs have had a chance to meld causing the sauce to really ripen.

1 lb. 80/ 20 ground beef
1 (26 oz.) jar of a basil flavored red sauce (I used Nannina's Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce)
1 can of fire roasted diced tomatoes (undrained)
1 T. of dried Italian seasonings
1 cup of shredded Italian cheese blend
1 lb. of uncooked penne pasta
1 3/4 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
dried/ fresh parsley for garnish

-Preheat oven to 375*.  In a large deep saucepan, brown beef and drain off grease.  Add in red sauce, tomatoes and Italian seasonings.  Bring to a boil; stir in Italian cheese blend.  Reduce heat and simmer.  Meanwhile, cook pasta as directed on package (add a little e.v.o. to the water to flavor the pasta and keep it from sticking together, do not salt the water you are using a lot of salty cheese already).  Strain pasta and fold into sauce.  Pour into a deep casserole dish and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese on top is melted well.  Garnish with parsley before serving.  Serves 6.  Enjoy!

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