My Famous 'Baked' Mostaccioli

Total Time
2hrs 5mins
Prep 20 mins
Cook 1 hr 45 mins

This is a recipe that I have been tinkering around with since January 26th, 1986 ("Super Bowl XX"... Da Bears!) It was my first attempt (as a young adult) to create a recipe. I've changed it a lot over the years. I've been told that it is pretty much perfect, so I stopped playing with the recipe about 15 years ago. It is requested for any get-together that I attend (hence the name... "Rosie, bring your famous mostaccioli"). I've easily doubled or tripled this recipe to feed up to 50+ people at the local shelter or at huge parties. This is also a great recipe because you can make the entire batch, and then freeze half or all of it (before baking) to have a ready made dinner with only baking time involved. (*Note: This recipe makes about 10 lbs). I hope you enjoy my recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 1 (1 lb) box mostaccioli noodles
  • 1 12 lbs ground beef
  • 3 -4 mild Italian sausage (1 package un-cooked links)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (more if needed)
  • 1 medium white onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 (24 ounce) canshunts spaghetti sauce ("Traditional" flavor)
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans hunts tomato paste
  • 14-12 cup Pace Picante Sauce, to taste (Mild or Medium)
  • 2 lbs freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (divided)
  • garlic salt, to taste
  • italian seasoning, to taste


  1. Cook mostaccioli noodles according to box directions, drain and set aside.
  2. Place Italian sausage links in a large, deep skillet and add enough water to go half way up sides of sausage links and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Simmer until cooked through and water is almost evaporated (about 25-30 minutes).
  3. While the sausage links are simmering, in a large bowl combine the spaghetti sauce, tomato paste, picante sauce, garlic salt and Italian seasoning. Adjust seasonings to your preferred taste.
  4. When all water is evaporated and links are cooked though, brown on all sides in the remaining oil in the skillet (adding more if needed). Once browned, remove from skillet and set aside.
  5. Add ground beef, onion and bell pepper to the same skillet and brown the meat until just barely pink (do not over cook the beef). Drain any excess grease from the skillet with a large spoon while leaving the beef and veggies in there.
  6. Slice the Italian sausage links into 1/4" thick slices and add back to the skillet.
  7. Add the spaghetti sauce mixture to the skillet and gently simmer 30 minutes to blend the ingredients and flavors.
  8. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 375*F.
  9. Pour the mostaccioli noodles into a large, deep aluminum baking pan (I use the big, deep rectangle, disposable ones because I don't want to wash the pan, and I'm usually asked to bring this dish to get-togethers).
  10. Sprinkle half (1 pound) of the shredded mozzarella cheese over the noodles. Pour the meat and sauce from skillet over the cheese. Gently mix until all noodles are coated and cheese is incorporated thoroughly. Smooth top surface and evenly sprinkle on remaining cheese.
  11. *Note: I've also used a couple of the smaller disposable pans and only bake one, while the other one I cover and freeze (without baking), to make later in the month (just thaw a bit before baking, stir, adding a touch of water if needed, then add final topping of cheese, bake).
  12. Bake on center rack for 45 minutes.
  13. Serve with garlic toast, salad and Italian dressing. Enjoy!
Most Helpful

Yummy yummy yummy .........this dish was a big hit, even with seven and nine year old peskies, who are particular about their pasta!<br/>I took tips from previous reviews and saved on cleaning up, by mixing the sauces, cheese and pasta together with meat in the pan....a good move!<br/>Leftovers are just as tasty.....and I still have some stashed in the freezer, for when I need a good meal on the table fast.<br/>Thanks for a top notch recipe Rosie.<br/>Made for PRMR.

Noo March 09, 2014

We loved this flavorful Italian pasta dish! I loved the fact that it could be made ahead and frozen for those times when I need to get a quick meal on the table. For our tastes, I used 2 tsp. garlic salt and 1 TBSP Italian seasoning. I also added some fresh ground black pepper. I saved a couple of steps and added the noodles and cheese to the sauce in the pan. I mixed it together well and put it in the baking pan. I baked it for about 30 minutes and then added the additional cheese on top. I baked it for the addtional 15 minutes. I baked this in a 9" x 13" baking pan and froze the rest in a 9-1/2" x 9-1/2" deep disposable, aluminum pan to use at a later time. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe! **Made for 2013 Football Pool**

Bayhill January 04, 2014

I halved the recipe and we loved the sliced italian sausage mixed in with the ground meat. I had to add some finely chopped garlic with the onions. I really enjoyed this dish, and my son is now on "thirds". I took a shortcut and just added the sauce and tomato paste into the meat mixture, added the additional seasonings, stirred in the pasta and cheese, and saved the clean up of the extra bowl. (I'm all for less clean up!). Worked perfectly. Made this easy to make and it turned out delicious. Made for your win in Football tag! Congratulations!

breezermom December 31, 2013