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Italian Mac and Cheese
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4.96 from 23 votes

Italian Mac and Cheese

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. 
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword comfort food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 5 people
Calories 500kcal
Author April

Ingredients

  • 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
  • ¼ 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

Instructions

  • 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 the heavy whipping cream then simmer for a couple of minutes until most of it is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in half of mozzarella. Feel free to add more cheese if you like. Mix well until the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper if needed.
  • 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. 

Nutrition

Calories: 500kcal