Monday, June 27, 2011

Italian Mac and Cheese

This meal is delicious. Especially if you are a pasta fan like me. If there are noodles in it, it's just better in my opinion. Not the healthiest motto to live by, but I don't care. Carb me up. The other nice thing about this meal is that it is fairly easy to make and absolutely husband and kid approved - no matter how many picky eaters you have in your house...


What you need:
1 pound penne noodles
1 pound Italian sweet sausage
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream

1 {10-ounce} bag shredded Italian 4 cheese blend {equals 2.5 cups}
1 can diced tomatoes, drained well

1 cup sliced mushroom {optional}
1 teaspoon hot sauce {optional}
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup bread crumbs {Italian seasoned or plain}
Basil {fresh is best, if you have it!}

What you do:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about 8 minutes. {Get the water heating on the stove and then move onto the meat, cooking the noodles as you go.}

In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel lined plate. Return pan to heat and add extra-virgin olive oil, butter, garlic (and mushrooms if you like that sort of thing; clearly, I do not). Season liberally with salt and pepper. Saute 3 to 5 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Add flour to skillet and stir, cooking 2 minutes. Whisk in broth, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in 2 cups of 4 cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired. I added a couple drops for kicks. Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking or casserole dish.

In a bowl, stir together the remaining 1/2 cup of 4 cheese blend, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and breadcrumbs. You can also add fresh basil to this mix. Now that Mr. Basil lives in my kitchen, I try to add a little basil to everything! Sprinkle this cheese and breadcrumb mixture evenly over the top of the pasta and bake for about 10 minutes. Then turn broiler on oven and broil for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese on top is slightly golden.


*Featured on Stonegable*


Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

OH MY GOODNESS! I am a carb sister too! This recipe looks fantastic! This one is a must make! I am having a housefull of company here very soon and this would make a great and easy do-ahead dinner.
I can almost smell it from here! Look for this on my menu the week of July 11 with a link back to your post!
Thank you for participating in ON THE MENU MONDAY and bringing us all this mouthwatering deliciousness! HOpe to see you here at OTMM next week.

Janine said...

This looks amazing!! Definitely something I will try!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

Sounds divine. Just good old comfort food. Mona

cityfarmer said...

heading to the market right now ... oh wait, I have everything!!!!

this is my mark when I grade a recipe ... everything in the pantry ...

found your site at Stonegable!
Yvonne is the dearest, isn't she?

The Cantelmo Family said...

That looks so yummy! I am going to pin it and make it for my husband. I really need to look through all your recipes because I am not a good cook and all your food looks so yummy! Maybe you can teach me how to cook some day? By the way you meal plan for your family coming this week looks beyond good!!!! YUMMMMMY!

Aimee - said...

This looks amazing! Thanks so much for sharing!! XO, Aimee