Step 1: Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling, salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain the pasta in a colander and then put it back into the pot. Drizzle it with a bit of olive oil, mix, and set aside.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F, and adjust a rack to the center.
Step 3: Coat the bottom of an oven-proof, large sauté pan with olive oil and place it over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeño pepper. Stirring periodically, cook until the onions are soft, about 7 minutes. (See notes!)
Step 4: Move the vegetables to one side of the pan and add the meat to the empty side, breaking it into bite-sized pieces. Sauté until it's cooked through, about 5 minutes.
Step 5: Mix in the tomato, olives, cooked macaroni, 2 cups of the cheese, and the cilantro.
Step 6: Season to taste with the salt, pepper, and cayenne for meat if desired. (Here's How to Season to Taste.)
Step 7: Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheese evenly over the top.
Step 8: Place the pan in the preheated 375 degree F oven until it's sizzling and the top is becoming golden brown, about 15 minutes. (For a crisper, browner top, you can also place it under the broiler for about 30 seconds.)
Notes: If you don't have an oven-proof sauté pan, after you've seasoned the dish to taste, pour it into an approximately 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking dish before moving on to the next step.
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