With not enough tomato sauce to make spaghetti sauce, and a pound and a half of ground beef thawing on the counter, I checked what was available in the pantry, and threw together an easy pasta bake for dinner last night. It seriously took 15 minutes. I made mine with the simplest of ingredients. If you want to complicate matters, mince your own garlic and make your own salsa! This will make one 9x13 pan for dinner, and one 9x9 pan to freeze for another time. 2 meals for under $10. What a deal!
1 1/2 lbs. ground beef 1 Tbs. taco seasoning 1 tsp. garlic powder) 2-3 Tbs. dried onion pieces 2 cups Trader Joe's frozen Bell Pepper Trio w/ pre-sliced combo of red, green, and yellow peppers...must keep on hand!) 1 can tomato sauce 1 1/2 cup salsa 1 cup cup water 2 cups frozen corn 1 can red kidney beans, drained coupla shakes of oregano salt and pepper 14 oz. pkg. whole wheat elbow macaroni (or any pasta really!) 6-8 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
Cook elbow macaroni. Meanwhile make sauce: brown ground beef. Turn off heat; drain. Turn heat back on, add taco seasoning, garlic, onion, and frozen peppers. Saute. Add tomato sauce, salsa, water, corn, beans, oregano, and salt/pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Drain macaroni, and dump 2/3 pasta in 9x13 pan, and 1/3 pasta in 9x9 pan. Layer sauce over top of pasta, approximately 2/3 and 1/3 of sauce in respective pans. Top each pan off with shredded cheese. Cook one, and freeze the other...unless you are having the soccer team over. Bake at 350F for 15 minutes.
Okay, so it's really more like 30 minute Tacosagna....but, you'll be spending that time marveling at the one pot you might actually scrub before dinner's ready to serve.