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Baked Mostaccioli con Ricotta

Amanda
This easy baked mostaccioli con ricotta recipe is one of the best pastas for Sunday dinner or the weeknight. This cheesy layered pasta is made with Italian sausage, red sauce and three different kinds of cheese!
4.87 from 15 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 660 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound mostaccioli
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground italian sausage mild or hot
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic minced
  • 3 cups italian gravy or marinara
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon italian seasoning
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 375˚.
  • Cook the mostaccioli in boiling salted water according to the package instructions until it is al dente. Drain the water from the pasta and set it aside.
  • In a dutch oven or large skillet, add the olive oil and heat it over medium heat on the stovetop.
  • Add the Italian sausage and cook for 3-4 minutes, while breaking up the sausage with a spoon or spatula, until it is browned.
  • Add in the minced garlic, cook for 1 more minute, while stirring, and remove off of the heat.
  • Add the cooked and drained mostaccioli pasta along with the Italian gravy and stir to combine.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the ricotta and mozzarella cheeses, Italian seasoning and the egg. Stir until everything is well combined.
  • Spread half of the pasta mixture in an even later into a 9x13 baking dish. Drop the ricotta cheese mixture in spoonfuls over the top of the pasta, covering it as much as possible. Spread the remaining pasta mixture over the top of the ricotta cheese layer.
  • Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the parmesan cheese and cover the dish tightly in foil.
  • Bake the mostaccioli in the preheated oven for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 5-10 minutes to brown the cheese.

Notes

  • Make sure to cook the pasta until it's just al dente so it doesn't get mushy when it's baked with the sauce and cheese. Follow the package directions for timing.
  • Bake the dish covered for the first 40 minutes so that pasta heats up nicely and doesn't dry out.
  • After removing the foil, If the cheese isn't browning as much as you would like, flip on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish browning it.
 

Substitutions and Variations

  • Pasta - Rigatoni, penne or ziti can be used as substitutes if needed.
  • Meat - Mild or hot Italian sausage can be used as well as ground beef, grilled chicken strips or mini meatballs.
  • Sauce - My old school italian gravy is always my go to for red sauce. Your favorite store bought marinara sauce will also work.
  • Cheese - Use full fat or whole milk versions for the best flavor and texture. Asiago or pecorino romano cheese would be other great additions to mix in or add on top.
  • White Sauce - Substitute the red sauce in this recipe for alfredo sauce.
  • Vegetarian - Omit the Italian sausage to make it vegetarian.
  • Gluten Free - Use your favorite gluten free pasta.
  • For a Crowd - This recipe can be scaled up to serve a crowd. Plan for about 8 servings per 9x13 pan.
 

Make Ahead Instructions

REFRIGERATOR: Prepare unbaked mostaccoli and allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator, uncovered. Once cooled, cover with foil and store up to 24 hours before cooking it in the oven. 10-15 additional minutes of cooking time may be needed.
FREEZER: Prepare unbaked mostaccoli and allow it to cool completely in the refrigerator, uncovered. Once cooled, cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap and then foil and store in the freezer for up to two months. Mostaccioli can be baked from frozen, but will need an additional 15-20 minutes of cooking time.
 

Storage Suggestions

Leftover baked mostaccioli con ricotta will keep in the refrigerator when stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days and can be reheated in the oven or microwave.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cupsCalories: 660kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 32gFat: 36gSaturated Fat: 16gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 121mgSodium: 1224mgPotassium: 681mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 922IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 371mgIron: 3mg
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