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One of the goals I’ve set for myself before turning 40 (gasp! I’m getting old!) is to try forty new-to-me recipes before I turn forty. Maybe I’ll take a stab at something from The Art of French Cooking by Julia Child et al, but to boost my confidence, I decided to start with something simple. This dish isn’t high class, but it’s a yummy comfort food that’s on the table in less than 20 mins, and was familiar enough that the kids had no qualms eating it. Sounds good enough to add to the rotation to me!

2 cups pasta cooked al dente (rotini, ziti, whatever you have on hand)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 pounds ground beef
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red chili flakes (optional)
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup dry parsley (or 1/2 cup fresh, plus extra for garnish)
Salt to taste
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Cook pasta according to al dente package directions less 1 minute. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain pasta without rinsing. Meanwhile in a large skillet over high heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and brown and crumble beef, about 2 minutes. Reduce to medium heat. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in garlic, onions, chili flakes, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, parsley, and 1/2 cup pasta (or plain is fine, too) water. Simmer until meat is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Toss in pasta and 1 cup mozzarella. Top with remaining cheese and cover with lid. Garish with additional parsley, if available. Serve hot.



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True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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