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Italian Mac 'n Cheese

This hearty meal serves four – with leftovers. It's sure to become a family favorite, so bring your appetite!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ziti rigate, penne rigate or cavatappi (ribbed, hollow corkscrews)

  • 1 pound Italian bulk sweet sausage

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 tablespoon butter

  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 12 crimini mushrooms, sliced

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 sack shredded Italian 4-cheese blend (10 ounces or 2 1/2 cups), available on dairy aisle

  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained well

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco brand (optional)

  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, a couple of handfuls

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and cook pasta to a chewy al dente, about eight minutes.

In a nonstick skillet, brown and crumble the sausage. Drain cooked crumbles on paper towel-lined plate. Return pan to heat and add EVOO, butter, garlic and mushrooms. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Sauté 3-5 minutes, until mushrooms are lightly golden.

Pre-heat broiler to high.

To mushrooms, add flour and stir, cooking two minutes. Whisk in stock, then stir in cream. Bring cream to a bubble, then stir in two cups of 4-cheese blend. When cheese has melted into sauce, add tomatoes. When sauce comes to a bubble, remove from heat and adjust seasonings, adding hot sauce if desired.

Combine cheese sauce with sausage and pasta, transfer to baking dish, casserole or ovensafe serving platter. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 cup of 4-cheese blend and the grated parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.

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This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...
This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...
This recipe originally appeared on the Rachael Ray Show. For more recipes and videos from...