This classic Baked Penne recipe is a dish my Mother just loved for me to make. It’s a simple recipe as long as the sauce is made ahead of time. The ricotta cheese mixed in with the penne and melted mozzarella cheese on top is perfect for a large family functions or a small Sunday dinner.
The cheeses I use are normally ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella but on occasion I’ve been known to add Asiago or Fontinella to this recipe. Some people add ground beef to this recipe but since I already use it in the sauce it’s not necessary to add it to the pasta.
You’ll love the way the mozzarella browns on top of the Baked Penne. It’s crisp and flavorful. Sometimes I’ll make this dish with cavatelli or ziti. Serve this dish with plenty of garlic bread, some meatballs and sausage and a nice bottle of Chianti.
1 pound of pasta
3 pounds of ricotta cheese
1/2 cup of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp of fresh ground black pepper
1 8oz package of mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
If you like mix in some Asiago or Fontinella cheese
Cook the pasta in 6 quarts of salted boiling water until al dente.
Drain and set aside.
Add some sauce to the pasta
In a large bowl cream the ricotta, eggs, parsley, Parmesan, 1 quarter of the mozzarella, salt and pepper,
Place some sauce on the bottom of a large casserole dish and a layer of pasta, then a layer of ricotta.
Repeat the layering until you use all the pasta.
Top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Cover the pasta with aluminum foil and bake for a 30 minutes.
Remove foil and place under a broiler until cheese is lightly browned. Be careful not to burn the top.
1 lb of ground beef
1/2 lb of ground pork
1 onion chopped
1 carrot finely chopped
1 green bell pepper chopped
6 cloves of crushed garlic
3 Tbls of extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup red wine
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
4 15oz. cans of tomato puree
2 15oz. cans of diced plum tomatoes
1 6oz can of tomato paste
1 cup of water
Start the bolognese sauce by sautéing the onion, carrots and peppers in oil in a large pot for about 10 minutes.
Add garlic and sauté another 3 minutes.
Add ground beef and pork.
Break up meat with a wooden spoon so there isn't big chunks of meat. Stir together and let cook around five more minutes.
Add basil, oregano, salt and pepper and stir.
Add wine, tomato puree, tomatoes, tomato paste and water.
Stir everything together and let cook for around an hour and a half stirring in between.
This Baked Mostaccioli recipe should serve 8 to 10 people. Serve with extra Parmesan cheese.
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