Baked Ziti

I am a huge fan of Italian food, but seeing as how I don’t eat red meat, I haven’t eaten this in quite a while. I haven’t yet experimented with a recipe that incorporates turkey or Italian sausage, but, if you’re in my boat as a non-red meat eater, I’m sure that this recipe would taste just as great with either of those in place of the beef.

1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 - 8-oz. cans tomato sauce
1 - 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp. basil
1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 - 16-oz. box ziti or penne rigate, cooked and drained
1 cup taco cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350°. Sauté ground beef with onion until no longer pink. Add the red pepper and garlic and sauté 5 more minutes. Drain off excess grease. Add the tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Heat through. Stir in pasta and taco cheese. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


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