a comforting pantry baked mostaccioli with onions, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, and fresh mozzarella
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp crushed red pepper
2 (14.5 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
½ lb mostaccioli
2 oz sun-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 oz castelvetrano olives, halved
1 tbsp butter
4 oz fresh mozzarella, drained + sliced ¼”
4 oz shredded mozzarella
Preheat the oven to 450°F and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, heat a 12” skillet over medium heat. Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom. Once hot, add the onion, Saute for about 6 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper. Cook for another minute or so.
Add the crushed tomatoes to the skillet. Stir well and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often. After 20 minutes, drop the mostaccioli in the boiling water. Cook according to the package instructions.
Add the sun-dried tomatoes and olives to the sauce, along with 1 cup of starchy pasta water. Simmer for a few more minutes while the liquid reduces. Stir in the butter and let melt. Drain the mostaccioli and add it to the sauce. Stir well.
Spread the pasta into an even layer. Top with the slices of fresh mozzarella (season each slice with a pinch of salt) and the shredded mozzarella. Bake for 6 minutes until the cheese has melted. Turn the oven temp to high broil. Broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is golden brown. Garnish with a pinch of crushed red pepper if you’d like.