My family loves pasta! I know, I know. You can already make pasta. However, being a frequent pasta consumer, I think there is a important difference between average pasta and finger licking good pasta. When I make this pasta my daughter CBear regularly thanks me saying " oh mommy thank you for making my favorite recipe!" It is really cute and makes any little thing that is bothering me just fade away.
So, naturally I make this recipe a lot. Probably once a week. It is one of those dinners I never have to fight with my kids about eating. They even ask for seconds sometimes. Not having to say over and over, "please sit down and eat your dinner" or "please finish eating" is wonderful! This is one of those meals where everyone gets really quite all of the sudden, because they are eating... just eating that is all. It is glorious.
Most of these ingredients seem pretty standard for making pasta right? Except for maybe the bread crumbs and shredded mozzarella cheese. Those are my secret weapons in making this pasta finger licking good! They help to make my sauce thicker and give my pasta the gooey deliciousness cheese always seems to add! Like my sister, cheese is also one of my favorite food groups... don't judge!
So, let's get started! First you brown your meat in a large pan. I like to cook mine on a medium heat. While I am cooking the meat I also set a large pot of water boiling to cook my pasta in. Once the water is boiling I cook my pasta for about seven minutes.
As my meat is cooking, I sprinkle on some onion powder and garlic powder to add flavor to my lean ground beef. Sometimes, if I have it on hand I use ground elk meat my family loves it either way. Once it is browned I drain off some of the grease. There usually isn't much and I don't worry about getting it all, just the majority of it.
This is where I add the bread crumbs. I use about 1/4 of a cup and sprinkle it all over the top of my ground beef. Mix it all around so all of your ground beef is coated in bread crumbs. This step also soaks up any of the extra grease that didn't get drained out. Also, since the bread crumbs are "Italian" they add a little more depth of flavor to your pasta.
Next dump in the entire jar of pasta sauce. The bread crumbs that you dumped in are going to help thicken up the sauce. Personally, I am not a fan of thin runny sauce. Then I add about 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese and mix.
About this time your noodles should be done cooking. So, go ahead and drain them and dump them in right on top of your meat sauce. You could leave them separate so people can decide for themselves how much sauce they want, but for me that is just more time spent serving... and when my kids are at the table, they are ready to eat right now.
Because cheese makes everything better, at this point I add a cup of mozzarella cheese to the top of my pasta dish. I let it sit for a moment as the cheese starts to melt and then I mix it all together and get ready to enjoy. If your family is like mine it will get very quite as everyone enjoys their dinner. Be ready to dish up seconds!
Finger Licking Good Pasta
1 Box of pasta
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 jar pasta sauce
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese
Start with a large Pot and heat to boiling. Once water is at a boil pour in your box of pasta to cook. While the water is heating up put lean ground beef in a large pan to brown. As meat is cooking sprinkle on onion powder and garlic powder. Once meat is browned drain grease and cover in bread crumbs. Mix so all meat is coated. Then pour in jar of pasta sauce and combine. Next add Parmesan cheese and mix. Finally cover in Mozzarella cheese and wait till cheese is beginning to melt. Mix and you are ready to enjoy!