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::vegetarian:: Spicy Baked Mac + Cheese

I will admit… as much as I love food, when it comes to mac+cheese, I prefer the Kraft blue box.  I HATE Velveeta, and usually I am not crazy about “real” macaroni and cheese.  PTB loves mac+cheese…so for the birthday  week, I was willing to venture into something new.  Especially when I found a recipe that isn’t cheddar based.  I based my version of this Spicy macaroni on a Giada Everyday Italian recipe, but of course, had to change it up a little bit!  There is a lot going on with this meal…so if you can get a helper – I would recommend it.

What You Need:
Step One

1lb elbow macaroni
Step Two
2 Tbsp olive oil
Large Shallot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
Step Three
can of diced tomatoes
10oz frozen spinach, thawed & drained
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
Step Four
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesean (1/3 cup more later)
1/4 cup grated Romano (1/3 cup more later)
butter
Step Five
12oz fresh mozzarella cut into 1/4″ cubes

Cook macaroni to package directions, undercooking slightly since it will continue to cook in the oven.  Also – get your oven heated to 350 F.  The key to making this recipe easy is multitasking.  While your water is heating, get all your step two ingredients chopped up.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the shallot and garlic and cook for bout 2-3 minutes.  Add all step three ingredients.

While everything is heating, mix together step four ingredients (except your reserved cheeses).

Butter a large baking dish, and then coat with half the cheese & bread crumb mixture.

Once the noodles are cooked and the veggies are heated, mix them together with the remaining cheese mixture and the cubed mozzarella.

Spread evenly in the baking dish.

Top with remaining cheeses and dot with butter.  Bake for 30-40 minutes….

…until the cheese is golden brown on top.

Serve and Enjoy!!  🙂 /

Serves: 6  Cost:

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