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baked penne pasta

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thrivinghomeblog.com
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Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total: 1 hours, 5 minutes

Servings: 10

Cost: $4.77 /serving

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and garlic and saute for several minutes, or until starting to soften.

Step 2

Add ground beef and cook until browned. Drain off fat, leaving a bit behind for flavor and moisture.

Step 3

Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Stir and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 4

After that time, remove 3 to 4 cups of the sauce to a different bowl to cool down.

Step 5

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 6

Begin to boil your pasta. Make sure to undercook it a tad–especially if freezing!

Step 7

In a separate bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, 2 cups of the grated mozzarella, Parmesan, egg, and a dash of salt and pepper.

Step 8

Drain the pasta and rinse under cool water to stop the cooking. Pour it into the bowl with the cheese mixture and barely mix it together.

Step 9

Add the cooled meat sauce that you set aside earlier and toss to combine.

Step 10

Dump the pasta mixture into a large greased casserole dish or lasagna dish. (NOTE: I ended up using a 9×13 AND a 9×9 dish to fit all of it!) Spoon the remaining sauce over the top, then top with remaining mozzarella cheese. (Freezing instructions begin here.)

Step 11

Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove from oven and let stand 5 minutes before serving. Hint: Sprinkle chopped parsley over the pasta before serving!

Step 12

Thaw in the fridge (may take up to 48 hours) or thaw in the microwave on defrost setting. Bake at 375 degrees F according to Step 11 in the recipe.

Step 13

If cooking directly from frozen state, cover with foil. Bake in a 375°F oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or so, until heated through and bubbly. Remove the foil the last 20 minutes.

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