Thursday, April 19, 2012

Three Cheese Baked Mostaccioli

My best friend has an obsession with cheese.  She doesn't care what kind it is- she will inhale the whole platter, before you can even get out the crackers.  Literally- she could probably eat a whole wheel of cheese in one sitting.  The girl loves cheese, I think, more than she loves me.

Anyways- back to the food- her love for cheese inspired me to make this ooey gooey three cheese baked pasta.  I mean that is what best friends are for, right?  Inspiring you to make the best pasta dish around.

There is cheese found everywhere throughout the dish; in the sauce, deep in the noodles, and even on top creating a crunchy, crispy crust.  I ditched the meat in this dish, since my best friend is a vegetarian, but feel free to add whatever pleases you.  I highly recommend making this cheesy, scrumptious meal.  It is probably one of the easiest pasta dishes to make and will please any of your cheese-lovers.  So c'mon, say "More cheese please" and go indulge!

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
1 bag mostaccioli
1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
1 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup Ricotta cheese
2 jars favorite tomato sauce
Kosher salt, to taste

Bring a pot of water to a boil.  Once boiling, pour in mostaccioli noodles and cook until al dente or tender to the bite.  In a saute pan, heat olive oil and add onions.  Cook for about 3 minutes then add garlic.  Saute until onion is translucent and cooked through.  Set aside.

Add onion and garlic mix to a large bowl.  Once noodles are cooked through, drain and add to bowl.  Pour in both jars of sauce and kosher salt.  Add Mozzarella, leaving about 1/4 cup for top of pasta.  Add a couple pinches of Parmesan and blot ricotta into bowl, again leaving cheese to top the dish off with.  (You may not want to use all of the Ricotta- but add as much as you would like.)  Mix together so noodles are coated in cheese, sauce, and onion mixture. (It ain't pretty but pictured below is what it should look like.)

Pour into a greased baking dish.  Top with remaining Mozzarella, Parmesan, and blot some more Ricotta on top.  (Again, add as much cheese as you would like, you don't have to use all of it if you think it is too much! But remember, we like it cheesy! :) )

Bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes.  After it has been cooking for 20 minutes and is hot and bubbling, turn on the broiler and let the cheese become melted and crispy to create that delicious crust on the top.
MMM... wait until you have this in front of you.. believe me, you will be going back for seconds... or sixths. ;)

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