Warm, cheesy, Margherita Macaroni and Cheese recipe with the delicious flavors of tomato, basil and mozzarella.  It would be perfect for a fun appetizer, main course, or dish to bring to a party!

Italian Margherita Macaroni and cheese recipe for a party, appetizer, or vegetarian main course www.wishesndishes.com

I love this Margherita pizza version of mac & cheese. This may be because I’m Italian and I’m biased, but there truly is a great combination of flavors in this dish.  Also, I may have a slight obsession with wagon wheels pasta.  I’m a 5 year old at heart, what can I say?!

I ate so much mac ‘n cheese as a kid, and even well into my adult years….. and let’s just say that lot of it came from a box.  Shhhh!  Don’t judge 🙂  One of my favorite meals my mom made when I was growing up was when she went all out and made homemade baked macaroni and cheese.  It was even one of the very first meals I made on my own once I moved out of the house.  I felt like such a pro!  It’s just such great comfort food no matter which way you prepare it (have you tried the Cheez-It Mac & Cheese I posted a few weeks ago?) and I think it will always be my favorite meal of all time.

Italian Margherita Macaroni and cheese recipe for a party, appetizer, or vegetarian main course www.wishesndishes.com

Margherita Macaroni and Cheese
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Serves: 4
 
Warm, cheesy, Margherita Macaroni and Cheese recipe with the delicious flavors of tomato, basil and mozzarella. It would be perfect for a fun appetizer, main course, or dish to bring to a party!
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces macaroni (wagon wheels, elbows, shells, etc.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus extra for serving)
  • 3 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, drained
For sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cups milk
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375.
  2. Cook macaroni as directed on the package.
  3. While macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce.
  4. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.
  5. Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
  6. Whisk in flour, salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
  8. Boil and stir one minute. Set this sauce aside.
  9. Drain pasta and mix with the drained diced tomatoes.
  10. Place half of the macaroni in an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper, basil and cheese.
  12. Repeat with remaining macaroni, salt, pepper, basil and cheese.
  13. Pour sauce over macaroni.
  14. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
  15. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Serve with fresh basil (optional).

Recipe source: adapted from Betty Crocker cookbook and whatmegansmaking.com