Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Little Mustaches for Your Dining Pleasure

"Next time you make this one, you might want to make double," he said having just refereed a squabble over who was to receive the last spoonful of last night's left overs. "This is one of my favorites of the new stuff that you've been fixing. It's great on a cold day."

Well then...can anybody say DO OVER!!

Someone once said that if you can find one good recipe in a cookbook that your family enjoys time and again, then the whole cookbook was worth the price. If that is true, then this cookbook was the deal of the season.

It is particularly full of quick tasty belly-fillers that my gang loves.  The recipe for Baked Mostaccioli is perhaps our very favorite to date and it is so simple that it appears often on the busiest of days.

I thought might be a super recipe to share as all of us head knee-deep into Christmas prep!

Baked Mostaccioli
{Printable Recipe Here}

Here's what you'll need:
1 pound package mostaccioli
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound Italian Sausage (I usually use regularly flavored)
1 (14 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
2 cups mozzarella cheese

First, cook a pound of pasta. The recipe is called Baked Mostaccioli so it calls for mostaccioli noodles. However, if are like me you haven't an earthly idea what a mostaccioli noodle looks like. So I looked it up and it is simply a ziti noodle that is cut on a slant.
I also learned that mostaccioli means "little mustache" in Italian! There you have it. Wonder no longer.
If you can't find little mustache pasta at the store, any tubular thing will do, ziti, penne, even macaroni elbows if you are in a real pinch.

While you are waiting for the pasta to cook, brown the sausage breaking it into pieces with your handy dandy Pampered Chef tool or the side of a wooden spoon. When the sausage has cooked, drain it well and add the tomato sauce, the Alfredo sauce, the basil and the garlic powder. (The original recipe calls for a 2 ounce package of spaghetti sauce seasoning, which I have been unable to locate at the grocery story. I imagine that such a package would include at least basil and garlic powder so that's what I use.)

Stir to combine.

Now, let's build.

In a sprayed casserole dish, place 1/2 of the pasta, then 1/2 of the meat sauce, then 1 cup of cheese.

Repeat with the other 1/2 of the pasta, then the other 1/2 of the meat sauce, then another cup of cheese.

(See that big ole bag o'cheese back there with the blue label? It's a mix of mozzarella and a gently smoked provolone and it is super yummy. It's all the rage here at The Wright Place lately, except with that one little Wright who "isn't very into melted cheese right now." We buy it at Sam's Club...the cheese, not the picky eater.)

That's it, you're all finished. Toss that casserole into a 350˚ oven for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and irresistible looking. Take it from the oven, throw some green veggies on the plate with it, and enjoy!

Now you're all warm in the belly and ready to take on the Season!


Tiffany said...

That looks delicious!! Good thing I have you provide me with yummy recipes.....we just had your parmesan tilapia for dinner tonight! :)

Gretchen said...

I'm glad you like them. Here's what we'll do, you keep pinning awesome desserts and I'll keep finding easy dinners!! Deal??

Tiffany said...

Haha, sounds like a plan! If only I had the time and the forgiving waistline to be able to actually make all of them!!

Jennifer Sitze Martin said...

I know I'm late coming in here, but the recipe looks delish.

I grew up eating mostaccioli at an aunt's house at Christmas. I have to tell you that the noodles are tubular, cut on the diagonal like penne but have no ridges. So not exactly like penne but pretty darn close.

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