Mozzarella Mac and Cheese Recipe
This Old-Fashioned Comfort Food will Cheer You Up, Give You Nutrition, and Fill You Up
Copyright © Vicki Riviera All Rights Reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission; Posted November 29, 2011
Macaroni and cheese is one of the most time-honored comfort foods, and who doesnt need that in these tough economic times? This recipe is a bit different from the Kraft-stuff-in-a-box fare but preparation is easy and very rewarding. (Your family will thank you!)
This is all easily found in the grocery store; nothing too exotic.
- 1 lb. rigatoni or the pasta shape of your choice. I like whole wheat but hey, youve got to get the kids to eat it, right?
- 2 cups Half-and-Half.
- Organic butter for the baking dish.
- Kosher salt to taste.
- 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese cut into 1/2 squares or shredded.
- 2 cups of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese if you can find it + a hand-full; I sometimes substitute shredded Swiss for the Reggiano.
- Freshly-ground pepper to taste.
- 7 Roma tomatoes, diced.
- 35 basil leaves, cut into strips, more or less according to your taste. This is just one more reason to keep an organic spice garden.
The Cooking Process
- Cook the pasta to al dente.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Apply organic butter to a 9 X 13 Pyrex® baking dish and add the pasta.
- In a saucepan, combine the mozzarella, 2 cups of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Half-and-Half.
- Simmer, stirring often, until its a nice gooey mess!
- Add the salt and pepper to taste. Back off if you have high blood pressure.
- Turn off the fire; stir in the tomatoes and basil.
- Pour it all over the pasta and mix it in.
- Top with the hand-full of Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Bake for 18 minutes and chow down.
For example, changing the cheese? The shape of the pasta? Adding in your favorite spices? One thing I like to do is change or add to the cheese line-up. Adding blue cheese will give the dish a funky edge that goes well with a red wine.
It is also easy to incorporate veggies into the mix. This can be helpful in getting the kids daily supply in or just to round out the diet of the family as a whole. Experiment!
Make these changes as needed; not only is this a comfort food; it is a great vehicle for getting the RDA of calcium and nutrients into your childrens diet!
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