2 TBS olive oil
1.25 lbs. extra lean ground beef
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried parsley
1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper
salt to taste (I use 1/2 tsp, you may want more)
2 - 14 oz cans petite diced tomatoes (or 1 can crushed, 1 can diced)
1 - 6 oz can tomato paste
5 c. warm organic beef broth (or 5 c. water & good boullion)
2 c. mafalda (mini lasagna) or bow tie pasta
1 & 1/2 c fresh baby spinach, cut in 1/4 inch wide strips
1/4 c fresh basil, cut in 1/8 inch wide strips
shredded 5 cheese Italian blend
Heat oil over medium high heat in large Dutch oven or soup pot. Add meat & brown well. Add onion & garlic & cook, stirring often, until onion just begins to be translucent. Add seasonings.
Add one can of tomatoes, crushing well with a fork (or use 1 can crushed tomatoes). Add additional can of tomatoes & tomato paste, stirring well to incorporate.
Pour in warm broth & blend in well; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover & simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in pasta; cover. Continue to simmer for an additional 7 minutes, stirring often. Blend in spinach & basil, cook an additional 3-5 minutes or until pasta is al dente.
To serve, ladle into bowls & top with 1/4 c shredded cheese blend, stirring to melt. Pair with a salad & a nice crusty bread.