Melted cheese and a combination of Italian spices make this Baked Mostaccioli recipe a solid contender for some hearty & delicious comfort food. This is actually not a recipe I grew up with, but one I learned how to make in college and then introduced to my family. Now it’s one my mom, my siblings & I all make frequently.
I grew up in a ‘Midwest meat & potatoes’ kind of family – a reflection of my mostly German heritage, my rural/farm upbringing, a great big summer garden and my mom’s hearty homemade cooking style.
That’s not to say everything we ate fell into the ‘meat & potatoes’ mold or our food was mono-cultural. Things like spaghetti and tacos were part of the regular rotation. I didn’t think those foods were particularly unusual or exotic….so, I was surprised to find out one time that those weren’t foods my mom ate growing up (on a central Illinois farm about 3 miles from where we lived).
She remembers her introduction to spaghetti was as a new recipe someone brought to a church potluck and the first time she had tacos when a foreign exchange student brought them to her high school Spanish class. (Yes, my mom has a crazy-good memory!)
It’s interesting to think about the ways in which we get introduced to new foods. If you’ve never made baked mostaccioli, I would encourage you to try it!
This is a very simple recipe and can be easily adapted to your family’s tastes – if you like spicy foods throw in some hot pepper or substitute a spicy ground sausage for the hamburger. You can also throw mushrooms or bell peppers into the sauce. I make my own season my own sauce, but feel free to use a store bought spaghetti sauce if that’s your preference.
One recommendation – make sure to get ‘rigate’ noodles (the ones with the little ridges). They ‘hug’ the sauce and help the dish hold together. Bottom line – try it, experiment with it and let me know what you think!
- 1 lb. ground hamburger
- 12 oz. mostaccioli or penne noodles, cooked according to package directions
- 12 oz. tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup diced tomato
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. basil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 tsp. parsley
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
- In a large skillet, brown the hamburger. Add tomato sauce, tomato, garlic, oregano & basil. Cook over medium heat until sauce begins to simmer, stirring occasionally.
- Place cooked noodles in an 8 x 8 baking dish. Pour meat sauce over the top and stir to combine thoroughly.
- Add cheese over the top and sprinkle with parsley.
- Bake for about 10 minutes until cheese is melted and gooey.
Makes about 4 servings.
Who will you share it with?