SUPER SIMPLE MAC & CHEESE ITALIAN STYLE

by Sheryl

PREP TIME: 5 MINS | COOK TIME: 10 MINS | TOTAL TIME: 15 MINS | YIELD: 6

This is a fantastic dinner idea to add your weekly menu rotation. Super Simple Mac & Cheese Italian Style needs only seven ingredients and fifteen minutes to whip up. Easily come together and crazy delicious!

INGREDIENTS

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk (2% is good too)
1 pound dry mini penne pasta
8 ounces of Italian blend shredded cheese (*see below to make your blend)
1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning (I prefer McCormick Tuscan Style Italian Seasoning)

HOW TO MAKE SUPER SIMPLE MAC & CHEESE ITALIAN STYLE

Step 1: Boil a large pot of salted water. Add pasta and cook following the package direction (al dente). Once cooked, drain the pasta and set aside.

Step 2: Melt the butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan. Once melted, whisk in the flour and Italian seasoning for about 2 minutes. Pour in the milk, whisking occasionally until the mixture has thickened. Then, stir in the Italian blend cheese and Parmesan until incorporated.

Step 3: Get the pasta and pour the cheese mixture over, stirring to combine. As the sauce sits in the pasta, the sauce will thicken.

Step 4: Serve immediately. Enjoy!

NOTES:

1. Use whatever cheese is available. What’s important is to use at least 4 ounces of mozzarella in your cheese blend.

2. Add veggies like peas, broccoli, and baby spinach. In the last 5 to 6 minutes of cooking your pasta, add about 2 cups of either frozen peas or broccoli. Cover the pot to quickly boil, then, uncover. The veggies will be done, the same time the pasta is cooked. For the fresh baby spinach, stir in around 3 cups once the pasta and cheese sauce is incorporated. When it is time to serve, the spinach will be perfectly wilted then.

3. You are welcome to add protein, too! If you have leftover turkey, chicken, or rotisserie chicken, use them! Place the pasta back in the pan after you drained them along with the chopped protein. Pour the sauce over and heat to warm the meat through. Or try leftover ground beef, burgers, rinsed, and drained beans like navy, kidney, or pinto.

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