Penne Bolognese

Kyle has a pretty big track meet tomorrow so pasta is definitely on the menu. Yes, pasta will fuel him, but I wanted to add lean protein to the meal AND create a sensational, nutritious dinner. Hence the Bolognese sauce!

Don't worry... This is an incredible dish even if you don't plan to run a sub-5 minute mile tomorrow! The seasonings send the dish over the top, trust me. I used lean ground beef, but ground turkey and chicken work too.

Oh, and the sauce comes together in the same amount of time it takes for the pasta to cook, making this is an excellent option for a busy weeknight.

Penne Bolognese

12 ounces penne pasta, or any pasta shape
1 pound lean ground beef
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning, preferably salt-free (if it's not salt-free, add salt to taste at the end)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, optional
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
Shredded Parmigiano Reggiano or domestic parmesan cheese for serving

Cook the penne according to the package directions, stopping at the earliest cooking time so the pasta is al dente (we will add the pasta to the sauce so it will cook for 1 more minute).
Meanwhile, brown the beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat as it cooks. Add the Italian seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes and stir to coat. Cook for 1 minute, until the herbs are fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 to 10  minutes.
Add the cooked penne to the sauce and simmer for 1 minute to heat through and finish cooking the pasta.
Serve with the shredded cheese over top.
Serves 4