Easy Baked Mostaccioli

Mostaccioli is a hearty baked pasta that’s perfect for a weeknight dinner. Essentially an easier lasagna made with penne. Top it with plenty of cheese and you’ll soon have a new favorite to add to the rotation.

12 ounces mostaccioli or penne
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large onion diced
3 cloves garlic minced
28 ounces marinara sauce
14 ounces diced tomatoes undrained
½ cup water
1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups mozzarella cheese shredded
¼ cup parmesan cheese shredded

Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13 pan.
Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water until al dente. Do not overcook.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan brown ground beef, onion, and garlic until no pink remains. Drain any fat.
Stir in marinara sauce, diced tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, and sugar. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until thickened.
Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of the prepared pan. Add half of the cooked pasta and top with half of the remaining sauce.
Add remaining pasta, top with remaining sauce and cheeses.
Bake 25-30 minutes or until hot and the cheese is lightly browned.
Recipe Notes
Do not overcook the pasta as it will cook more in the oven.
Substitute Italian sausage (or your favorite any ground meat for beef.
For a vegetarian or meatless version, mix in a combination of diced veggies like chopped spinach, onions, diced zucchini, sliced mushrooms, and/or eggplant.

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