Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Italian Mac'n'Cheese

As a child one of the favourite meals that my Mom or Nana would make my two sisters and I was a homemade macaroni that was not only cheesy but had a hit of tomato in it.  I think back in the day the 'tomato hit' was from a can of tomato soup but I decided to do things a little differently.  Mainly because I didn't have any soup on hand but also because I thought I'd get more tomato-y bang for my buck using tomato paste.
I loved this dish because it brought me back to the 'good ol' days' with my dear Nana.  My kids?  They are a hard bunch to impress (such divas) but they did enjoy this dish.  It's cheesy, has a hint of tomato (without the dreaded tomato seeds) and has a delicious Italian crumb topping that isn't to be missed!

2 cups macaroni noodles
2 tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup tomato paste

1 1/2 cups dried bread crumbs
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper - to taste
3 tbsp fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
3 tbsp butter, melted

In a large pot, cook macaroni noodles according to package instructions. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter.  Add minced garlic and cook for 3 minutes.  Add flour and mix until combined.  Whisk in the milk.  Stir occasionally until mixture has thickened.

Add Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses, dried oregano and tomato paste.  Mix well until cheese has melted.  Pour cooked macaroni noodles into the skillet and combine with the cheese mixture.  Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish.

In a small bowl, combine the topping ingredients.  Sprinkle topping over macaroni.  Broil under high heat until crumb mixture is golden brown (keep an eye on it!  It won't take long!).

Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings

Inspired by: My Nana and A Pretty Life in the Suburbs' 'Creamy Tomato Macaroni and Cheese'


Jen said...

Hey! Long time no chat! I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for all your kind words of encouragement over the last few months. I'm trying hard to come out of my hermit shell and reconnect! I just wanted you to know how much I appreciated your words though. So thank you - I'm incredibly grateful.

Laurie@The Baking Bookworm said...

Jen!! I'm so happy to hear from you. Your ears must have been burning because I was thinking about you just last week. Unfortunately we've gone through a couple of family losses so my thoughts have been on family and not on blogging. I'll definitely pop by your own blog and chat with ya.

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