A basic mostaccioli recipe includes mostaccioli noodles, ground beef, spaghetti sauce, mozzarella and Romano cheese. Mostaccioli is usually a casserole. To prepare mostaccioli, cook the ground beef and the pasta separately, combine all the ingredients in a casserole dish, top with cheese and bake.
Mostaccioli noodles and ground beef are the stars of this casserole, and perfectly cooked pasta ensures the finished dish has great texture. To cook the mostaccioli noodles, DeLallo advises adding 1 pound of pasta to 4 to 6 quarts of salted, boiling water. Stirring the pasta during the first few minutes of cooking prevents the pasta from sticking.
Placing a lid on the pot brings the water back to a boil. DeLallo suggests boiling the pasta uncovered according to package instructions, or for 8 to 10 minutes to achieve an al dente texture. It is customary to drain cooked pasta well before using it in any dish but especially in casseroles. Excess water dilutes flavor and makes for mushy pasta.
Browning the ground beef in a skillet develops its flavor and ensures it is well cooked before going into the oven. Low-maintenance mostaccioli recipes entail combining browned ground beef, cooked and drained mostaccioli noodles, spaghetti sauce and Romano cheese in a casserole dish and topping this mixture with mozzarella and more Romano.