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This DELICIOUS Italian mac and cheese comes from “Delish: Eat Like Every Day’s the Weekend“new cookbook. Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for sending me a free copy. Have you heard of them? Well it’s actually a recipe site with tons of amazing recipes that are family friendly and fun to make. The Cookbook is filled with mouth watering pictures of every single recipe. The recipes are easy to make and most importantly, you probably have all the ingredients to make them!
Now let’s talk about this DELICIOUS, ooey and gooey Italian mac and cheese. It’s so flavorful. Some of the ingredients include, cavatappi, sausage, red bell peppers, mozzarella and a good quality marinara sauce. My family ate ALL of it. No leftovers whatsoever. I can honestly say that I will be making this fast and easy meal for my family often. The Delish cookbook is my new fav and it’s currently sitting pretty on the shelf with the rest of my favorite cookbooks.
Of all the recipes in the cookbook, I decided to try this Italian mac and cheese out first. Why? Well there’s a short story behind it. I grew up in NJ surrounded by tons of Italian restaurants. I’ve been to many Italian restaurants. One of my favorite Italian restaurants had a pasta dish that was ridiculously good. It was the only thing I ever ordered from them. I made this mac and cheese because it reminds me my favorite Italian spot. They added broccoli in their pasta. Next time I will try adding broccoli.
Italian mac and cheese is one of my new go to meals. It’s perfect whenever you can’t figure out dinner, are short on time or just want something different. You can use all kinds of meat in this recipe. For example, Italian sausages with casings removed, sliced kielbasa, ground pork, chicken, ground beef or turkey are great choices.
For a vegetarian Italian mac and cheese, try using mushrooms, broccoli, mushrooms or spinach. This recipe also make a great base for other yummy pasta dinners. Swap out the mozzarella for cheddar, add in taco seasoning, tomatoes or whatever you like and make it a cheesy taco pasta. The possibilities are endless.
HOW TO MAKE ITALIAN MAC AND CHEESE
- In an oven safe skillet, simply, cook the sausages breaking it up as it cooks then add the red bell peppers onions and garlic. Saute the vegetables for 4-5 minuter or until softened.
- Add cavatappi and stir until coated, then pour over marinara and broth and season with salt. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pasta is al dente and almost all liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
- Add the cavatappi, the sauteed vegetables, sausages, sauce and half of the mozzarella, chicken broth and heavy whipping cream to a dutch oven, a large oven safe skillet or a baking dish. Mix well until the cheese melts.
- Season with salt and pepper for taste.
- Bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until the cheese is fully melted.
- I like my Italian mac and cheese to be nice and bubble with tiny brown spots (as you can see in the pics) To achieve that, I set the oven to broil for the last 3-5 mins and broil.
How easy? Right? For about $10 bucks you can have a hearty, super good meal that can feed several people. I actually like to splurge a little on marinara sauce when I make pasta. I love to use Rao high quality Marinara sauce and it’s a bit more pricey than most brands. Feel free to use your favorite store brand or homemade marinara. Double, or triple this recipe if you have a large family or need to feed a crowd easily.
This Italian Mac and Cheese is incredibly delicious. Marinara sauce, sausage and oozing cheese are just some of the ingredients. It's a perfect choice for an easy weeknight meal.
- 1 lb sausage with casing removed or ground sausage or your choice of meat
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 red pepper diced
- 12 oz cavatappi
- 1 16 oz jar marinara
- 4 cups chicken broth I used Better Than Bouillon
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream or half and half
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese divided
- fresh chopped parsley
- salt for taste
- pepper for taste
- couple pinches of crushed red pepper optional
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
In a large oven safe skillet or dutch oven over medium high-heat, cook the sausage until browned breaking it up as it cooks. Set to the side. Add the vegetable oil. Once the oil heats up, add the onions, garlic and red bell peppers. Saute until softened about 4-5 minutes.
Add cavatappi and stir until coated, then pour over marinara and broth and season with salt. Bring liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until pasta is al dente and almost all liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Add half of the mozzarella cheese. Feel free to add more cheese if you like. Mix well until the cheese is melted. Season with salt (if needed and pepper)
If you are using the oven safe skillet that you cooked the veggies and pasta in, just sprinkle the other half of the cheese top then bake uncovered for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
If you want to use a baking dish, pour the mac and cheese into the baking dish and sprinkle the remaining shredded cheese all over the top. Add more cheese if you like. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
I like my Italian mac and cheese to be nice and bubbly with tiny brown spots (as you can see in the pics) so I set the oven to broil for the last 3-5 mins and broil. Serve right away with garlic bread.
Products and equipment used to make this Italian Mac and Cheese: 1. Homemade Marinara Sauce | 2. Cuisinart Chef’s Classic 12-inch Open Skillet with Handle Helper | 3. Pioneer Women Baking Dish “Easy Cleanup” | 4. Barilla Cavatappi Pasta 5. Delish: Cook like Every Day’s The Weekend
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If you like this recipe they you’ll love my very Cajun Chicken Pasta or, what about a delicious side like my Best Meatloaf. It’s a very popular loved recipe on the net. Try out my delicious Chili recipe. It will make even chili haters love it. Holidays are near and this delicious Sweet Potato Pie and Collard Greens will be loved by many.
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