Saturday, September 7, 2019

Baked Italian Mac and Cheese

Regular readers of my blog understand my total disdain for Mac and Cheese. It was a repeat player in my mother's limited menu repertoire. Oh, the horror. To this day, I find it preferable to have a colonoscopy rather than eat Kraft Mac and Cheese.

This weekend marks my favorite Formula 1 race of each season....the Italian Grand Prix. My joy is immense as the Monza racetrack is the fastest circuit in Formula 1. It is also the home race for one of my favorite teams...Ferrari.

So in the interest of honoring my favorite race and giving you a really tasty alternative to the absolute worst dish in the entire world........ladies and gentlemen.........welcome, if you will....Baked Italian Mac and Cheese!

1 pound hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
16 ounces cavatappi pasta
16-ounce jar marinara sauce
Kosher salt
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 cups shredded mozzarella, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 350º.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add cavatappi and cook to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large oven-safe skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat. Keep breaking up sausage with a wooden spoon until seared and no longer pink, about 4 minutes. Add onion, garlic and bell pepper. Cook, stirring until soft, 5 minutes more.
  4. Remove from heat. Stir in pasta, marinara, heavy cream and 1 cup of mozzarella. Mix well. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the skillet. Slide skillet into the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Serve.

Wine pairing: Chianti Classico

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