2 pounds lean ground beef (85/15%)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1 cup chopped red, yellow, orange, or green bell pepper
1 cup chopped peeled carrots
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cans (28-ounces) crushed tomatoes in juice
2 cups water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder (optional but recommended)
Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 pound dried elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) grated cheddar cheese
Heat a very large skillet (for this full recipe, it should be a deep 12-inch pan) over medium high heat and brown the beef, stirring until no pink remains, about 5 minutes. Drain the beef and set aside.
Wipe out the skillet, add the oil, and heat it over medium heat. Add the peppers, carrots, onion and garlic and sauté until almost tender, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef back to the skillet, as well as the basil, oregano, tomatoes with their juice, water, Worcestershire sauce, and chili powder if using. Season with salt and pepper, turn the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta, stir and cover. Lower the heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, and most of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste and season again if needed.
Sprinkle the cheese over the casserole then cover for just 1 more minute until the cheese is melty, and serve. Serve this right out of the pan.