$20 Pasta Dinner

When it's going to be a busy week, I usually cook this for one of our dinners. It takes all of 20 minutes and gets the job done.

My go-to pasta sauce is Rao's, specifically Tomato Basil (available at Kroger or Whole Foods). If you get crappy pasta sauce, there's no point in this meal.


  • Large jar of pasta sauce
  • 1lb ground beef (90/10 works best)
  • 1lb pasta, whatever kind tickles your fancy
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano (or Parmesan if you don't feel like treating yo self) (optional)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Brown ground beef, then drain. Wipe out pan.
  3. Add pasta to boiling water. Cook until al dente, about 10 minutes.
  4. Return beef to pan, pour in sauce.
  5. Transfer pasta from pot to pan (this way some of the pasta water gets transferred too, so the sauce will cling to the noodles).
  6. Mix it all together and serve, grating cheese over the top.