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Monday, September 9, 2013

Italian Mac and Cheese with Pepperoni

Baked Italian Mac and Cheese. Photo courtesy of the Cooking Corner

    Recently I was going to make some mac and cheese for my crew, but didn't want the huge casserole size and realized that I was out of bacon. Now we all know that bacon makes everything better and that includes mac and cheese. What I did have on hand was some sliced pepperoni. I always keep that on hand for my pasta sauce. So I decided to make my mac and cheese Italian style, using an Italian cheese blend, roasted garlic and a touch of oregano with those pepperoni slices. Novel idea, using what's on hand.

Mac and cheese ready for oven.
Italian Mac and Cheese with Pepperoni
1 cup medium pasta shells (1/2-16 oz. box)
3 T. butter
4 cloves roasted garlic, smashed
1/8 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded Italian blend cheese
white pepper
sprinkle kosher salt
18 sliced pepperoni, cut in quarters
1/8 tsp. oregano
sprinkle of Panko or Italian bread crumbs



In large pot, bring 8 cups salted water to a boil. Add shells and cook for 7-9 minutes after returning to a boil. Drain water, stir and let sit covered until ready for use.

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 8x8x2 inch baking dish.


In medium saucepan, melt butter. Smash garlic and add to butter. Gradually stir in flour, mixing until well incorporated. Add milk a little at time until well blended, stirring constantly.


Simmer over medium heat until almost a boil. When you see steam rising, add salt, pepper and cheese. Mix well. Remove from heat and add pepperoni and oregano, stirring again.

Combine cheese sauce and pasta in large pot, stirring gently to combine. Pour into baking dish and sprinkle with bread crumbs.


Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. Serves 8.

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