Tuesday, August 9, 2011
From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...Have you ever noticed how young male appetites aren't affected by extremes of heat or cold? I must admit that baked mostaccioli is the last thing I'd normally think of serving on a hot summer night. This, however, is a dish that has a couple of things to commend it. It is, of course, delicious and quite filling. It's also easy to prepare and can be made by novice cooks. What I find most interesting about this version of the recipe, however, is its history. This is the recipe that was used to make the mostaccioli served to Mafia dons at, what the IRS came to call, "The Last Supper". The meal was held at the Sicily Restaurant in Chicago to announce the retirement of two mob bosses, only one one of whom was retiring voluntarily. Within five years most of the dons, seen in the picture to the left, would be dead, falling victim to old age rather than internecine warfare and this occasion was their last hurrah. I'm posting the recipe as it was written, but a jarred tomato sauce can certainly replace the one called for in the recipe. That puts the recipe within the realm of possibility even for young cooks. Here's how the mostaccioli served at that last supper is made.
Baked Mostaccioli...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 pound mild Italian sausage
3 (8-oz.) cans unseasoned tomato sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound mostaccioli
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
2) Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Remove casing from Italian sausage. Add to skillet and brown.
3) Add tomato sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and black pepper to skillet. Stir to mix well. Bring contents of skillet to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
4) Meanwhile, cook mostaccioli according to package directions. Drain.
5) Place half of cooked pasta in baking pan, making sure bottom of pan is completely covered. Cover with half of tomato sauce and half of cheese. Create another layer using remaining mostaccioli, tomato sauce and cheese.
6) Bake, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until top layer of cheese is completely melted. If desired, brown under broiler. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.
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