Chef Dad's Baked Spaghetti

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1 Jar (24 oz. or larger) Marinara or Chef Dad's 10 Minute Marinara Sauce (separate recipe)
1 1/2 lbs. Ground Beef or Ground Turkey
12 oz. Cooked Spaghetti (about 3/4 of your 1 lb. box)
1 lb. Cheddar Jack or Colby Jack Cheese (shredded)
Salt & Pepper

1) Pre heat oven to 350 degrees.  Get a large pot of salted water over high heat, but don't cook pasta until your first 3 steps are done.
2) In a large pan over medium high heat, fry your ground beef or turkey with a few heavy pinches of salt & pepper until fully cooked.  Drain any excess grease away and combine with pasta sauce in a large bowl.  Mix together and set aside.
3) Boil pasta per package instructions, then drain.  Have all your ingredients ready when the pasta is done so your assembly can move quickly.  You don't want your pasta to sit around and become a big clump.
4) For assembly, first coat the bottom of a medium sized casserole dish with just ½ cup of the sauce & meat mix.  Now, evenly spread the remaining ingredients in this order using 1/2 of each; 1st the spaghetti, the meat sauce then the cheese and repeat again, spaghetti-meat-cheese.  
5)  Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes until sides are bubbling.

This recipe makes at least 6 servings and up to 8.
Cooks Note: While pre-shredded cheese from the bag will work, buying brick cheese and shredding it yourself will give you a much better tasting result.
Crock Pot Cooking: Assemble the same way.  Cook on LOW for 4-5 hours or HIGH for 2 hours.

Chef Dad's 10 Minute Marinara

15 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce*
15 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes (preferably Italian)*
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Garlic Cloves (diced or chopped fine)
1 Tbsp. Basil Flakes
1 tsp. Onion Powder
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
¼ tsp. Black Pepper

1) Warm up a medium sized sauce pan over medium heat.  When hot, add olive oil then garlic and sauté for only 30 seconds.  Add your tomato sauce and diced tomatoes then stir.  Now add the basil, onion powder, sugar, salt & pepper.  Stir well to combine.
2) Once the sauce starts simmering, cover pan then reduce heat to medium low then let simmer for about 7-8 minutes.  Taste for seasoning adjustment, if any.  Serve immediately or store for up to one week.

* Organic canned tomato products such as Muir Glen® are recommended.

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