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!
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.
- 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
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp flour
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 2 cups milk
- Pre-heat oven to 375.
- Cook macaroni as directed on the package.
- While macaroni is cooking, prepare the sauce.
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat.
- Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant.
- Whisk in flour, salt and pepper and cook over low heat, stirring until mixture is smooth and bubbly.
- Remove from heat and stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.
- Boil and stir one minute. Set this sauce aside.
- Drain pasta and mix with the drained diced tomatoes.
- Place half of the macaroni in an ungreased 2-quart casserole dish.
- Sprinkle with half the salt, pepper, basil and cheese.
- Repeat with remaining macaroni, salt, pepper, basil and cheese.
- Pour sauce over macaroni.
- Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer. Serve with fresh basil (optional).
Recipe source: adapted from Betty Crocker cookbook and whatmegansmaking.com
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