This is a really easy, quick, and tasty pasta bake!
1 lb pasta of your choice (do not use lasagna noodles for this)
1 jar pasta sauce
1 jar water (just refill the pasta sauce jar)
2 lbs ground meat (you can use ground beef, turkey, chicken, sausage...or be authentic Italian and use a beef/sausage mix)
Shredded cheese ( I prefer colby jack but you can use any cheese you like that melts well)
*Depending on the type of pasta sauce you use you may wish to add some spices. I typically buy a plain pasta sauce and add garlic, oregano and whatever else I feel like at that time :) You can also add veggies such as squashes, mushrooms...anything that you think will taste good. It's a very versatile recipe and easily customized to you and your family's taste.
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pasta. You're not looking to cook the pasta all the way, as if you were going to eat it. You want to cook the pasta until it's cooked JUST ENOUGH that you can bend it. You do not HAVE to cook the pasta first, however, I find you get a lot of crunchy bits if you depend on it to be cooked soley in the oven.
While the pasta is cooking cook your meat through until it is done and drain the fat.
Next, add the pasta to a glass cooking dish. put the meat in and then stir it to mix evenly with the pasta. Then add the sauce and water and stir so it is evenly distributed. Cover with aluminum foil.
Cook at 350 degrees for approximately 45 minutes. Remove the dish and foil carefully and top with cheese. Re-cover with the foil and cook for another 10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
Let the dish cool for at least 5-10 minutes before eating so the sauce has time to thicken.
This heats up well in the microwave for about 4-5 minutes per slice. I tend to also re-heat things at home in the oven at 300 degrees and this should take about 10 minutes.