Today, we have a yummy recipe from Meredith K. on behalf of Hunts. I love macaroni and cheese, (and my kids live off the stuff) so this is the perfect easy weekday meal for my family!
When it comes to weekday cooking, there’s no better timesaver out there than leftovers. Some
Cooking for the Week: Fiery Tomato-Basil Mac and Cheese
nights it’s nice, even therapeutic, to whip up a leisurely meal in the kitchen, but on nights when you’re
ready to curl up on the couch with comfort food and a glass of wine, cooking can feel like a chore
instead of a treat. On nights like that, frozen meals just don’t cut it, which is where yummy leftovers
come into play.
Leftovers can get a bad reputation, but in reality, many casseroles and baked dishes actually improve
over a couple of days since the flavors get a chance to really blend together the longer they sit. They’re
also perfect to have around for busy weeknights or days when you just don’t feel like doing much of
anything in the kitchen. Plus, having a real meal for dinner is usually much more satisfying than any
frozen option, and is also much cheaper than delivery or takeout.
This fiery tomato-basil mac and cheese makes a whopping 16 servings—which is a very good
thing, because you’ll want to eat this dish for days. Mac and cheese is one of those meals like chicken
parmesan or your favorite easy
lasagna recipe that’s always just so good, no matter how old you are or what kind of day you’d
have; a bowl of creamy mac and cheese makes bad days significantly better and kicks good days up to
great. Make this mac and cheese on a lazy Sunday and keep it in the fridge or freezer for nights when
you’re craving a good, quick meal. Enjoy!
Fiery Tomato-Basil Mac and Cheese
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 ¼ hours
- PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray
- 1 16 oz package dry elbow macaroni, uncooked
- 2 14.5 oz Hunt’s® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup packed fresh sweet basil, chopped
- ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 5 cups whole milk
- 4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 ½ cups Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Basil leaves for garnish
For the sauce, melt ½ cup butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; continue whisking over medium heat 5-6 minutes or until flour mixture is browned. Add salt; gradually whisk in milk until combined. Constantly whisk sauce 10-12 minutes or until it thickens and starts to simmer.
Remove from heat and add cheddar cheese. Gently mix until completely melted. Pour cheese sauce over macaroni dish and stir to combine. Pour into prepared dish (or dishes).
For the topping, combine breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese and 4 tablespoons butter. Spoon evenly over the macaroni mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until top is golden brown. Garnish with basil leaves if desired.