Cheesy Beef Rigatoni

9 ounces rigatoni pasta, uncooked
1 pound lean ground beef, drained
4 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup sliced green onion (about 8 medium)
1 (18-ounce) can Progresso Recipe Starters Creamy Three Cheese cooking sauce
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced stewed tomatoes
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Prepare pasta according to package directions.  I undercook the pasta just a tad and leave it in the hot water after turning off the burner.  Let it sit in the hot water until ready to use.  I actually used the entire box of pasta (I think it was 16 ounces) and it was probably just a tad too much.  The recipes calls for 9 ounces uncooked.  And make sure you salt the pasta water some...the pasta will retain a little of the salt and give the dish more flavor.

3.  Cook the ground beef over medium-high heat until browned.  Drain the fat off the beef.  I go ahead and purchase the 73/27 ground beef, but because we are trying to eat healthier, I place the cooked ground beef in a metal strainer (not a colander...beef will fall out the holes) and rinse it thoroughly in hot water.  I also rinse out the skillet.  Return the beef to the skillet.  Return the skillet to the heat.

4.  Add the green onion and mushrooms and stir until the mushrooms begin to soften some.  Keep in mind that if you rinsed the beef, there is no fat in the pan, so you will need to stir the beef, onion, and mushroom continually, about 3 minutes...maybe not even that long.

5.  Add the diced stewed tomatoes to the skillet.  Stir until combined with beef mixture.

6.  Add the cheese sauce to the skillet.  Stir until combined with beef mixture.

7.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  You can also add some herbs during this step, such as basil, oregano, rosemary or thyme.  Don't add too much so the herbs don't overpower the dish.

8.  Drain the pasta.  Pour it into a 13x9-inch glass baking dish.

9.  Pour the sauce over the pasta.  Stir until the sauce and pasta are combined.

10.  Top with the shredded Cheddar cheese.

11.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes...just until the cheese melts.
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