There's nothing better than baked pasta under a blanket of melty cheese and this easy Baked Mostaccioli is hearty comfort food. Blended with sausage, marinara and cheese, this cozy Italian dinner is a family favorite.
3/4cupgrated parmesanPlus more for grating before serving
Heat the oven to 425 degrees.
Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add the pasta to the pot and cook to just al dente, approximately 7 minutes. Drain the pasta. Set aside.
Cook the sausage in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat breaking up into pieces with a fork until no longer pink. Transfer the sausage to a bowl using a slotted spoon. Drain off all but two tablespoons fat from the pan.
Add the onion to the pan and cook until softened. Stir in the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
Add the tomato paste and cook the mixture until it turns a deep crimson color, approximately 2-3 minutes. Stir in the marinara and remove from the heat.
Place the pasta in a large bowl and stir in 2 cups of the sauce. Fold in the sausage and 1 cup of cheese.
Spread a bit of the sauce on the bottom of a 3 quart baking side and top the pasta mixture.
Top with the remaining cheese.
Transfer to the oven and bake fo 30 minutes until golden and bubbling.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, parmesan cheese and crushed red pepper, if desired.
Baked Mostaccioli can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap and heat before serving.You can assemble mostaccioli up to 48 hours in advance for an easy weeknight dinner, just assemble, cover and chill until ready to bake.