Why do I call it Mostaccioli? Good question. I use Rigatoni noodles, because I like how the size of the noodle gives the sauce more places to creep into and the ricotta cheese to cling to. But I really think I call this dish Mostaccioli, because I like to say “Mah-sta chOlleh”. I feel all Sophia Loren when I say it, “Mah-sta-CHoleHhhhh”.
Anyway enough goofiness here’s what you will need:
1 pound box Rigatoni noodles, with ridges
6-8 cups spaghetti sauce
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
8 ounces fresh mozzarella (grated from a bag works fabulously also!)
Ricotta. Definitely on the top ten list of loves in my life.
Mozzarella, sliced thin. Using a bread knife, or a serrated knife, will help you slice this tender cheese more easily.
The Sauce! This is my leftovers from the other night.
Boil up the pasta. Al Dente! Leave your pasta a little bite, NO squishy pasta! This pasta is going to cook in sauce in the oven, if it’s over done before you bake it, the pasta is going to be….well, it’s going to be not as good as it could have been…lets just put it that way.
Pour sauce over drained pasta, and fold in covering all the noodles.
Now refrain from standing over the pot and snacking on noodles full of sauce. Not that I do that sort of thing.
Cover the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish with half of the noodle sauce mixture.
Spoon half of the ricotta cheese on top of noodles.
Smear it around a bit.
Layer the other half of noodles on top…..
covering up the hidden treasure of ricotta cheese.
Dollop the other half of ricotta cheese on top and smear it around.
Lay the thinly sliced mozzarella on top. Feel free to use shredded mozzarella. My Kenny likes me to make him these, in the wee hours when he gets off his shifts from the hospital. I like to make my man happy so I keep the stuff he likes on hand. Just in case you wondered.
Now you can do one of TWO things. Cover well and freeze for a later date. Or pop it in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.
So quick! So easy….oh I won’t say it…OK I have to “So easy a monkey could do it!”. Sorry.
Serve with a green salad, and some bread and you have a meal fit for a king!
What are you cooking for your family this weekend? I’d love to hear. Is there anything you would like to have me make on my blog, any topics you want covered, let me know, and I’ll do my best.