1In a large sauce pan, add ground beef breaking up as it browns until it's cooked through. Drain off excess grease. Add jar of marinara sauce, cans of diced tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a bubble and then turn to simmer. Cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes while you cook pasta.
2Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot (off burner).
3While pasta is cooking, add ricotta, parmesan, 3/4 cup mozzarella and egg to a medium mixing bowl and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste. I also added a bit of chopped parsley because I had some, totally optional.
4Add cheese mixture to pasta and toss to incorporate. Add a ladle full of meat sauce to pasta and cheese and toss again.
5At this point, you can layer in crockpot, as I did to keep warm for company, or in a casserole to bake if short on time.
For the crockpot method, put a small amount of meat sauce to the bottom of crockpot. Then 1/3 noodle mixture, 1/3 meat sauce, 1/3 mozzarella, few shakes of parmesan. Then repeat layers two more times ending with mozzarella and parmesan. Cover and set to high for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Until melted and bubbly. Enjoy with garlic bread and tossed salad:)