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Large white baking dish filled with cheese covered and baked mostaccioli cooked in an Italian sausage and tomato pasta sauce.
4.78 from 31 votes

Mostaccioli Recipe

Mostaccioli is a yummy baked pasta dish made with mostaccioli pasta and Italian sausage smothered in tomato sauce, topped with creamy ricotta and mozzarella cheese, and baked until bubbly. Perfect for busy weeknight dinners, the whole family will love this delicious baked mostaccioli recipe.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 842kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil - divided
  • 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage - (purchase ground sausage if you can find it, otherwise remove from sausage casing and breaking into small pieces as you cook)
  • 1 large onion - diced
  • 6 cloves garlic - minced
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - optional
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano - or Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 lb box mostaccioli - or penne if you can find it
  • 1 large egg
  • 15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese - shredded
  • fresh minced parsley - for serving

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425°F and spray a large baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
  • Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the ground Italian sausage and use a large spoon or spatula to break apart into small pieces until cooked and golden, approximately 6-8 minutes. Remove the sausage to a clean plate and set aside.
  • Leave approximately 1 tablespoon of sausage grease in the skillet - discard the rest.
  • Return your skillet to medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring often for 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Add the minced garlic, red chili flakes (if using), oregano, salt, and black pepper. Mix well to combine and continue to cook for approximately 1 minute, stirring continuously.
  • Return the sausage back to the skillet and combine with the onions.
  • Meanwhile, add the canned tomatoes to a large blender and pulse until blended - but not pureed. Transfer all but half a cup of your processed tomatoes to the skillet with the sausage and onions. Transfer the half cup of remaining tomatoes to a small bowl and mix with one tablespoon of tomato paste. Add to your sauce. Bring everything to a low simmer, then reduce heat to low. Stir occasionally.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Cook pasta until al dente, approximately 2 minutes less than package instructions. Drain into a colander and set aside.
  • As your pasta cooks, lightly beat your egg in a medium-size bowl. Add the ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix well to combine.
  • To assemble, remove the meat sauce from heat and spread a thin layer over the bottom of your pan. Arrange the cooked pasta in an even layer. Top with your remaining meat sauce mixture, ricotta mixture, and sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
  • Transfer to the oven and bake for 15-25 minutes, or until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.

Notes

Time-saving tips:
  • Use premade store-bought marinara sauce or spaghetti sauce (you will need approximately 2 jars)
  • Purchase pre-shredded cheese (I prefer to shred my own, but sometimes it's nice to have it ready to go)
  • Purchase pre-ground Italian sausage rather than links of Italian sausage that need to be removed from their casing
  • Prepare ahead of time- before baking cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerate until approximately 30 minutes before serving
You may also mix the noodles and sauce together before topping with the cheese if desired.
Feel free to substitute part, or all, of the ground sausage with ground beef.
If the cheese starts to burn as it cooks, simply tent with foil. This will help prevent your cheese from browning too fast.
Keep leftovers stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Originally published August 19, 2020

Nutrition

Calories: 842kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 54g | Saturated Fat: 23g | Cholesterol: 163mg | Sodium: 1472mg | Potassium: 561mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 576IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 374mg | Iron: 3mg
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