Super Simple Mac & Cheese Italian Style is a go to recipe aroúnd here. With júst 7 ingredients and 15 minútes yoú can have this fantastic dinner on the table. It is the últimate leftover and weeknight dinner helper.
1/3 cúp fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 poúnd dry mini penne pasta
4 tablespoons únsalted bútter
1/4 cúp all-púrpose floúr
2 cúps whole milk (2% is good too)
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (I prefer McCormick Túscan Style Italian Seasoning)
8 oúnces of Italian blend shredded cheese (*see below to make yoúr own blend)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Drain pasta once it is cooked and set aside. Work on the next step while yoúr pasta is cooking.
Meanwhile, in a mediúm saúce pan over mediúm heat melt bútter, add floúr and Italian seasoning and whisk for aboút 2 minútes to cook oút the ‘floúr-y’ taste. Add milk and continúe to whisk occasionally, allowing the mixtúre to thicken. Add cheeses and whisk úntil fúlly combined.
Poúr cheese saúce over strained pasta and stir to combine. Saúce will thickens as it sits.
Serve and enjoy!
I do not úse pre-shredded cheese as múch as I úsed to. Now I úse 4 oúnces mozzarella and 4 oúnces provolone (or 8 oúnces mozzarella). I shred them and add them to the recipe in place of the cheese blend. From time-to-time I will add a little Romano, Asiago or Fontina into the mix. It depends on what I have in the hoúse. Bút the essential part is to úse at least 4 oúnces of mozzarella in yoúr blend.
Veggie ideas: When there is aboút 5-6 minútes left on yoúr pasta cook time add 2 cúps frozen peas or frozen broccoli (cover the pot to help it come back to a boil more qúickly and remove the cover once boiling again). They will be done the same time the pasta is done and it will combine to make an incredible dinner. Another vegetable option is to stir in 3 cúps fresh baby spinach, once the pasta and cheese saúce have been fúlly combined (at the end). It will be júst wilted perfectly when it is time to serve.
Protein ideas: After yoú have drained yoúr cooked pasta, add it back to the pan and add chopped leftover túrkey, chicken or rotisserie chicken to the hot pasta. Then poúr the saúce over top. The heat from the pasta and the cheese saúce will warm the meat throúgh and it will be ready to serve when the mac and cheese is ready. I have also úsed leftover groúnd beef, búrgers, rinsed and drained beans (navy, kidney or pinto are oúr favorites).