Friday, December 17, 2010

Baked Mostaccioli

This was an interesting recipe - kind of like a lasagna with a different noodle.  I originally had wanted to make a slow cooker lasagna yesterday, but there was no way I was going to get it into the slow cooker on time with my busy schedule.  However, my piano students all canceled so I actually had time to make dinner at dinner time.  Yea.  I stuck with the same theme since I had wanted to try this when I saw it in my healthy cooking magazine anyway.
Upon reading the recipe, I decided it wasn't going to be flavorful enough for me so I changed a few things - doubled the tomatoes, used Italian style rather than regular, omitted water...  I debated adding extra Italian seasoning and didn't.  I wish I would have.  I did double the pepper, but it wasn't spicy at all.  I totally forgot the put the Parmesan on top.  That would have helped.  With all these complaints, don't get me wrong, this was good.  I just wished it had a bit more flavor and would add some extra Italian seasoning next time.
This was kind of a quicker version of lasagna for me.  I liked that.  I got everything together quickly while the noodles cooked, it tossed together in the pan quickly and was ready to go.
One last fun fact - I had no idea what Mostaccioli pasta was.  I searched for it at the store, but couldn't find it.  The picture in the recipe looked like penne, so that is what I used.  I just looked it up online - Mostaccioli is a pasta that looks just like penne but is smooth.  I even found a picture of it - apparently Barilla makes them, but I couldn't find it at the store.  I suggest just using penne.


  • 8 oz uncooked mostaccioli  (I think I had about 9.5 oz. left in my box.)
  • 10 oz. lean ground beef (use what you want here - original was 1/2 lb turkey, I used a pre-cooked I had that weighte 9.something already cooked.)
  • 1 Tablespoon dehydrated onions (could use 1 small onion chopped, but I was going for speed.)
  • 2 14.5 oz cans Italian style diced tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. can tomatoe paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper 
  • 1 16 oz. container fat free cottage cheese
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I forgot this, but it would have been good.)
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook ground beef and onion until no longer pink.  Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat;  cover and simmer for 15 minutes (I only let mine simmer until my noodles were done.)
  3. Add the marjoram to the cottage cheese container and stir.
  4. Spread 1/2 cup meat sauce into a 9 X 13 inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Layer with 1/2 of the pasta, meat sauce, and mozzarella.  Top with all of the cottage cheese mixture.  Layer with remaining pasta, meat sauce and mozzarella.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

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