PREP TIME: 15 mins | TOTAL TIME: 15 mins | SERVINGS: 6
Creamy, packed with amazing flavors, and ready in a heartbeat. This Italian mac and cheese is everything you need today!
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 c. whole milk, 2% is good too
4 tbsp unsalted butter
1 lb dry mini penne pasta
1 tbsp dried Italian seasoning, I prefer McCormick Tuscan Style Italian Seasoning
8 oz. Italian blend shredded cheese
1/3 c. fresh grated Parmesan cheese
How to make Italian Mac and Cheese
Step 1: Following the package directions, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain when done and set aside.
Step 2: In the meantime, melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the flour and Italian seasoning. Stir well for about 2 minutes until the taste of the flour is gone.
Step 3: Pour in the milk while stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.
Step 4: Next, add the cheeses and stir well until blended.
Step 5: On the pasta, pour the cheese sauce and toss to combine.
Step 6: Serve and Enjoy!
Pre-shredded cheese is something I use much less frequently than I used to. Four ounces each of mozzarella and provolone are now my standard (or 8 ounces of mozzarella). I have been using these in place of the cheese mix in recipes by shredding them and then adding them. Sometimes I’ll throw in some Romano, Asiago, or Fontina. It all depends on what’s in the pantry. But the most important thing is to incorporate at least 4 ounces of mozzarella into your mixture.
Add 2 cups of frozen peas or broccoli florets when 5-6 minutes are remaining on the pasta’s cooking time (cover the pot to help it come back to a boil more quickly and remove the cover once boiling again). Both the veggies and pasta will be ready at the same time. Alternatively, once the pasta and cheese sauce is thoroughly blended, you can whisk in 3 cups of fresh baby spinach for a healthy dose of greens (at the end). Once it’s time to serve, it will be properly wilted.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan, then stir in some chopped rotisserie chicken, roasted turkey, or other leftover meat. Follow that by dousing everything with the sauce. The heat from the macaroni and cheese sauce will thoroughly reheat the beef, and it will be ready to serve when the mac and cheese are done. I have also used ground beef, and burgers, and washed and drained beans that I had left over.
Serving: 1 | Calories: 554cal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 65mg | Sodium: 371mg | Sugar: 6g | Fiber: 3g | Calcium: 372mg | Iron: 2mg
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