Baked mostaccioli is a native dish to St. Louis, Missouri. It is our version of Chicago’s ziti, except we use mostaccioli noodles instead. This gives the dish a completely different texture. The flavor of this dish is savory and soft with lots of great melted cheese. The fresh basil gives a pop of freshness with every bite.
- Taste is savory, meaty, and cheesy.
- Weight is heavy.
- Texture is soft.
- Best categorized as family-style Italian food.
- 1 lb. ground turkey, 90/10 lean ground beef, or Italian sausage, browned with grease drained
- 1 c. Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 lb. shredded mozzarella
- 1 lb. mostaccioli, cooked
- one batch marinara sauce recipe
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tbsp. garlic, minced
- 1/2 tbsp. dried oregano
- 4 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a large sauté pan, brown meat. After meat is browned, drain grease and return the meat to the pan.
- Add the marinara, flavor balancers, and aromatics to sauté pan.
- Reserve the basil leaves on the side.
- Heat marinara until it begins to simmer.
- Mix together the cooked mostaccioli and marinara sauce in a large mixing bowl.
- Transfer to a large 13” x 9” Pyrex baking dish, cover with cheese, and bake in the oven until cheese is melted and slightly brown (about 15 minutes).
- Remove from oven, top with basil leaves, mix well, and serve with more Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.
If you live in the Saint Louis area and have the opportunity, substitute the fresh mozzarella for provel cheese. You’ll thank me later. You can also use any kind of tasty, melty cheeses like gruyere, taleggio, or ricotta salata. I highly recommend getting some high-quality pecorino Romano cheese and hand- grating it in place of the Parmesan.