GINNA PARSONS: Italian dish pleases all

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

I picked up a special edition of Taste of Home magazine featuring Italian dishes one day last week and immediately marked a half dozen recipes I wanted to try. In this magazine there are no fewer than 17 lasagna recipes, plus all kinds of ideas for stuffed shells, pizza, manicotti, soups and pasta bakes.
One recipe that looked really easy I tried last Wednesday night. I made one substitution – I cut some of the pork called for and used ground chuck – and I added minced garlic because we like that flavor.
I’ve found mostaccioli pasta before at Walmart, but Kroger doesn’t carry it by that name, although they do carry a Private Selection pasta called penne lisce that’s very similar. You could always substitute regular penne or penne rigate for the mostaccioli.
I thought there was going to be too much pasta for the amount of meat and sauce in this, but the recipe was spot on. Not only was this dish delicious, but it was pretty, too.
Son Patrick said it was one of the best things I’ve cooked all year – high praise from the hamburger king. This recipe made lots of leftovers, which my husband and I enjoyed for several days.

1 pound uncooked mostaccioli
1 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
1⁄2 pound ground chuck
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (24-ounce) jar meatless pasta sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 carton (15 ounces) Ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1⁄2 cup grated Romano cheese
Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Crumble sausage and beef into a Dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until no longer pink and drain. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in pasta sauce and cooked pasta.
In a large bowl, combine egg, Ricotta and Mozzarella.
Spoon half the pasta mixture in a greased shallow 3-quart baking dish. Top with cheese mixture and then spread remaining pasta mixture on top. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes. Uncover, top with Romano cheese and bake 5 minutes longer, until heated through.
Makes 8 to 10 servings.
Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.

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