Italian sausage mostaccioli is one of my most favorite baked pasta dishes.
To me personally, it’s right up there with lasagna. It’s cozy, comfort food and universally loved in my house. It’s delicious just freshly baked and right out of the oven- cheese strings and all. Yet somehow, it gets better overnight in the fridge and when rewarmed the next day. And it just so happens to be simple to throw together.
My classic recipe is delicious as is, but that doesn’t mean I don’t switch things up for fun and for flavor every now and again.
What makes this Italian sausage mostaccioli recipe, is that I decided to swap in some Italian sausage to bump up the flavor and to put a fun new twist on the original.
One of the many reasons why I love this recipe, is that it’s fast and minimal prep. You could even pull it all together and refrigerate over night and bake the next day. This could even be frozen and baked later.
Start by adding in a pound of both ground beef chuck and Italian sausage with the onions and garlic and cook until the meat has browned and the onions are tender.
Add in the rest of the ingredients; 2 (14 ounce) cans tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (totally optional), 1/4 teaspoon black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon sugar.
Stir together until combined and saucy. If you’re looking for a delicious meat sauce, you could stop here (let it simmer for a few) and then pour it over pasta and be done.
BUT this is a baked pasta dish so while the sauce is simmering for about 15 minutes, I bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook the mostaccioli noodles (aka penne lisce) for 1/2 of the recommended time on the package, and then drain.
Immediately after draining, add them to the pan of sauce and carefully toss together.
Add half of the noodles and meat sauce into a 9×13 baking dish and top with half the mozzarella. Add the rest of the noodles and meat sauce before sprinkling with 2 more tablespoons of Parmesan and then the rest of the grated mozzarella. Bing. Bang. Boom.
Slide this delicious masterpiece in to your oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cheese is golden and the sauce is bubbling.
Usually I let the mostaccioli cool down a bit before I serve it up into large pasta bowls and thenmsprinkle with fresh chopped parsley. I typically serve this with a garden salad and garlic bread, and for me, a glass of wine. I love wine with my pasta. And with reading books, and folding laundry and… (kidding! sort of)
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