Print This Recipe Written by Chacha on Jun 8th, 2012 in Baked, Beef, Meats, Pasta, Recipe | No Comments

Servings: 4 to 6


  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef (recommended chuck or sirloin)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and sliced
  • 3 cups marinara sauce, recipe follows
  • 1 pound mostaccioli, cooked and drained
  • 6 ounces freshly shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 1/2 to 2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease a 4-quart baking dish and set aside.

in a medium bowl, mix ricotta, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese together. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and onion and cook until the beef is browned, stirring often to break up the meat. Add garlic, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add the zucchini and cook until it’s tender. Stir in the Marinara sauce. Stir in pasta and cheese mixture. Pour into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until the mixture is hot and bubbling and the cheese is melted.

Marinara Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions, finely minced
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoons granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 2 28-ounce can whole good tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup good dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup good beef or chicken broth (recommended homemade)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Greek or Mexican oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1 cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley (leaves only)
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, sugar and season with salt, to taste. Stir in the carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook over medium-low heat, stirring from time to time, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add wine and broth and continue cooking over low heat another 45 minutes, covered. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the basil, oregano and parsley and season with cheese.

Note: The sauce can be made 1 day ahead. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over medium-low heat before using.

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