1 28-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
2 T. sugar
1 T. olive oil
5 cloves garlic; minced
¼ t. red pepper flakes
1 lb. ground beef
Garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 T. of chopped fresh Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme &/or parsley); divided
8-oz. pkg. of bow-tie pasta (farfalle)
1 c. shredded mozzarella
½ c. + 2 T. grated parmesan
1 c. ricotta
1. Pour can of tomatoes with juices into a 1-quart liquid measuring cup. Add water until the mixture measures 4 cups. Stir in tomato sauce and sugar; set aside.
2. Use a 4-quart pan (with lid) and heat over medium heat. Add olive oil; tilt pan to coat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and stir for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add ground beef and cook until done. Drain grease, season meat with garlic, salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 3 T. of fresh herbs.
3. Scatter pasta over meat and pour tomato mixture over pasta with stirring. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to med-low and continue to simmer, covered, stirring every 5 minutes. Push down pasta so it's submerged in sauce each time you stir. Cook until pasta is tender, for about 20-25 minutes. If sauce evaporates too quickly while simmering, add more tomato sauce or water to pan.
4. Remove skillet from heat and stir in mozzarella and ½ c. parmesan. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Dollop heaping tablespoons of ricotta all over surface of pasta mixture. Cover and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and parmesan.