So I got this recipe from my Mom who made this when we were growing up. It's THE BEST Mostaccioli recipe, EVER. I am not kidding, you will not want to eat mostaccioli any other way after eating it this way. I've had people comment that it tastes like pizza, even. Of course, I've tweaked it a bit for me and my family, but it's basically the same. My mom would put some cooking wine in it and I don't. Hubby doesn't like the wine.... (but instead of putting it IN the meal, why not drink it while you are cooking it? :) ) I've made this for birthday parties, etc because it's so easy to double and it's a crowd pleaser. This with a salad and garlic bread?...YUUUUMMMM
Heat the oven to 375 degrees
1.5 lbs of lean ground beef
1 box of mostaccioli noodles
1 onion, chopped
2 jars of Ragu (or whatever kind you use)
1 lb of Velveeta cheese (YES! you can use light if you want)
2 TBL garlic (yes, I LOVE garlic)
Italian seasoning (oregano, basil)
1/2 cup of cooking wine -- optional.
Bay leaf or 2-optional.
I brown the beef in a pan, with the onions and garlic. I season the beef with Weber's Gourmet Seasoning. I LOVE this seasoning. (can be found at Walmart) We put it on burgers and any kind of browned beef/turkey. You can use whatever seasoning that you love to season meat with. Start boiling those noodles!! Have a glass of wine while they are boiling.
You will have to excuse the pictures because I am somehow out of Mostaccioli noodles, so for today, I'm going to use the Penne noodles. I will post a pic of the finished product after I cook it tonight. For now, I am putting it in the fridge.
I have a HUGE jar of Ragu because 1 smaller jar (you know, the glass ones) is never enough. We like our pasta somewhat wet. Plus, we let the noodles soak up some of the wonderful tomato sauce!
After the beef,onions, and garlic are done cooking, drain the grease. Get a 9x13 or whatever kind of pan you'd like to use. I use a glass one generally. Pour some of the Ragu/spag sauce in the bottom of the pan. I sprinkle the sauce with my Italian Seasoning as some sauces need more spice! I then mix the meat, garlic, onions and noodles together. I usually add a bit more of my Weber Gourmet Burger seasoning then.
Pour the mixture on top of your sauced pan. Then I pour the rest of the sauce over the top of my mixture and add more Italian seasoning to it. I have to be honest, I think I put 4 TBL of garlic in this batch. I thought for sure hubby would make a comment about it, but he didn't. He LOVED it. Make sure to get ALL of the noodles wet. I don't like mine burnt and they tend to get charred/burnt if they aren't soaked in the sauce.
Now it's time for the BEST part. Slice your Velveeta up. Layer it over the top of the noodle/meat mixture. There's a lot of it. That full lb WILL fit over the top...but if you think it's too much, cut back on it. You may be disappointed though, if you do.
Put foil over the top of it and cook for 35 mins. After 35 mins, take the foil off and put back in the oven for another 10 mins or until the cheese is melted good and is a little bit brown.
Sometimes I have to cook it for a bit longer than 35 mins. It depends on the oven. This is such an Ooey gooey yummy comfort food. I have also put green peppers in this at times, too. The Velveeta makes this dish! I am not a big fan, normally, but this is GOOOOOD.
Look at all of the cheese!