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hamburger mess

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yet again another pinterest inspired recipe. I saw this recipe for Macaroni and Beef with Cheese By MICHAEL RUHLMAN but I couldn’t really understand why the recipe said to cook the beef for ONE HOUR in the sauce. that seemed crazy long and excessive. I googled around a bit searching for homemade hamburger helper or macaroni and beef casserole, etc. in the end I kinda just made my standard bolognese sauce with onion added to it, mixed it with mini penne pasta, mixed in a few handfuls of cheddar and mozzarella then covered with more of the cheese and baked at 400 for 20 minutes. YUMMY!

1 large onion, diced
2 tablespoons minced garlic
28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano
1.5 pounds lean ground beef
1 lb mini penne or elbows
lots of grated cheddar and mozzarella cheeses

preheat oven to 400

boil water and prepare 1 lb of pasta until al dente

meanwhile saute onion and garlic in small amount of olive oil for approx 3 minutes. add ground beef and break up with wooden spoon. continue to cook until crumbly and no longer pink. drain fat. season to taste with crushed red pepper, salt and pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano. stir in can of crushed tomatoes and simmer approx 5 minutes. (this is my basic quick bolognese sauce, minus the onion!).

mix cooked pasta with beef mixture in a 9X13 casserole pan. slowly incorporate a few handfuls of both cheddar and mozzarella cheese. then sprinkle a thin layer of the cheeses over the top as well.

bake for 20 minutes

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