Simple yet flavorful, this baked pasta dish will become a favorite for your dinner table. Mostaciolli is a smooth version of penne pasta; if you’re unable to find it in your grocery store, penne works just as well.
1 lb dried mostaccioli or other tube shaped pasta
3 cups marinara sauce (24 ounces)
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
16 oz Armanino Italian Style Beef & Pork Meatballs, defrosted
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
15 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
1 tablespoon Armanino Pesto Sauce
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ¼ cups grated parmesan, divided
8 oz grated mozzarella
chopped fresh basil or parsley for garnish
butter for the pan
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9”x13” baking dish and set aside.
Cook the mostaccioli 1-2 minutes less than the package directions call for; drain.
In a medium bowl, mix together the eggs, ricotta, pesto, ¼ cup of the parmesan and black pepper.
In a separate large bowl, combine the cooked pasta, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and the meatballs.
Turn half the pasta/meatball mixture into the buttered baking dish, top with spoonfuls of the ricotta mixture and spread gently into an even layer. Top with half the mozzarella and half the remaining parmesan (½ cup).
Top with the rest of the pasta/meatball mixture, then the rest of the mozzarella and parmesan.
Bake, uncovered, 35-40 minutes or until heated through, golden brown and crispy along the edges. If you like, broil for a few minutes to get a nice, crispy top. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley and serve hot.
Forget to defrost the meatballs? Spread them out on a sheet pan and set aside while you cook the pasta and prepare the remaining ingredients. You could also microwave for 1-2 minutes to speed things along.
Use your favorite purchased or homemade sauce. Marinara, alla vodka, Bolognese or garden vegetable would all be wonderful.
Instead of dried pasta, use Armanino frozen tortellini or ravioli for a delicious variation. No need to cook – mix directly from the package with the sauce.
Like it spicy? Stir in ½ teaspoon crushed red chile flakes with the sauce.