Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Italian Mac and Cheese

I can't tell you the last time I made mac and cheese. I love the stuff, but pasta drenched in cheese sauce isn't exactly on the new diet plan. Recently I had some leftover salami and a basil plant that was getting out of control, so I turned to this Italian Mac and Cheese I saw on Cassie's blog.

I've been loving roasted tomatoes lately and I was happy to make my own pesto with fresh-from-the-garden basil. The sauce ended up being a bit too heavy for us, but I think a lot of that has to do with the way we've been eating lately. I've modified the recipe below to be a little lighter, upping the chicken broth and decreasing the milk. I also upped the amount of tomatoes to 2 pints because 1 pint was just not enough.

This was a great way to use up some odds and ends around the house, with nice bright summer flavors from the tomatoes and pesto.

Italian Macaroni and Cheese
Slightly Modified from Cassie Craves

12 ounces penne
2 pints cherry tomatoes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
4 ounces Genoa salami, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded Italian cheese blend
1/4 cup pesto

Cook penne in boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper. Cook until tomatoes are bursting, about 15 minutes. Allow to cool slightly and remove the skins, if desired.

While tomatoes are roasting, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salami and cook until onion is softened. Add garlic; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add flour and stir until the ingredients are coated and the mixture is bubbling, about 1 additional minute.

Stir in wine and cook until reduced. Stir in chicken stock and milk. Heat to boiling, then reduce heat. Stir in cheese until melted, then add the pesto. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Combine penne, roasted tomatoes, and cheese sauce. Serve immediately.
Pin It!


  1. "1 pint just was not enough." You are a woman after my own heart! There's no such thing as too much when it comes to roasted tomatoes. I'm glad you liked this!

  2. This looks great! I like the idea of using wine and stock instead of milk - makes it a little lighter I guess. And you can never go wrong with roasted tomatoes and pesto :)


I've been told there are issues with comments going through. After you comment, you should see the following message: "Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval." If you don't see a message it means the comment didn't go through. Please try commenting again! I'm sorry!