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½ pound lean ground beef (15% fat)
1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 small zucchini, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 jar (24 to 26 ounces) tomato-based pasta sauce
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
12 ounces rotini pasta (about 4 cups)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese 
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese 


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. In a large skillet, cook beef, onion, garlic and zucchini over medium-high heat (350 degrees F in an electric skillet) until meat is browned and broken into pieces. Drain any fat (see Notes).
  3. Add the pasta sauce, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes, if desired. Bring to a simmer and cook on medium low (275 degrees F in an electric skillet) for 15 minutes.
  4. Cook the pasta in boiling water according to package directions.
  5. Drain the pasta and add to the sauce in the skillet. Stir in the cheese and cover until the cheese is melted.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.


  • Substitute broccoli for zucchini. Cook fresh broccoli with the pasta in step 3 or add frozen broccoli in step 2.
  • Pour fat from cooked meat into a metal container. Let it cool, then dispose of it in a garbage can.
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8 Cups
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cooking time:
30 minutes
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