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My Italian neighbor showed me this dish, and we knew we had to snag the recipe

Ingredients:

– 1 pound Mostaccioli pasta
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 pound ground beef or Italian sausage (depending on your preference)
– 1 (24-ounce) jar of your favorite marinara sauce
– 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
– 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
– 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
– Salt and pepper to taste
– Fresh basil for garnish (optional)

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PREPARATION:

1. Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). This is your blast furnace for flavor!

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the Mostaccioli according to the package instructions until it’s al dente. Remember, the pasta will continue to cook in the oven, so don’t overboil it.

3. While the pasta is boiling, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, sautéing until they are tender and smelling fabulous.

4. Add the ground beef or sausage to your onion mixture, breaking it apart with a spoon. Cook until it’s browned and no longer pink, then drain any excess fat because we want indulgent, not greasy.

5. Stir in the marinara sauce with the meat and let it simmer for a few minutes to marry the flavors. A good sauce is the backbone of this dish!

6. Once the pasta is ready, drain it and return it to the pot. Pour your meaty, saucy love over the pasta and add half of the mozzarella and half of the Parmesan cheese. Toss it all together until every piece of pasta is coated in that red, hearty glory.

7. Transfer the pasta mixture to a 9″x13″ baking dish. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top – because cheese is life! – and dust with Italian seasoning for that extra herby punch.

8. Bake uncovered for about 25 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and begins to get those irresistible golden brown spots.

9. Let it sit for a few minutes after taking it out of the oven (if you can resist). Garnish with fresh basil, if using, to add a pop of color and freshness to the dish.

Enjoy !

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