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Light Mac & Cheese with Tomatoes


PREP TIME: 15
COOK TIME: 30
TOTAL TIME: 45 mins

A lightened up version of Mac and Cheese! Great on flavour and texture...and simple to make! Use any combination of cheeses and a pasta shape to suit the occasion!

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bag of fun pasta
  • 6 tablespoon butter, divided
  • 1½ cups shredded Italian blend cheese 
  • ½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes (14oz)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ¼ tablespoon pepper
  • ½ cup panko (or dry seasoned bread crumbs)
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish 

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Using 1 T. of butter, grease a 2½ or 3 quart gratin/casserole dish.
    3. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain (RESERVE 1 cup of pasta water!), rinse with cold water and toss with 1 T. oil.
    4. In a large bowl, combine the can of tomatoes, 1 cup Italian blend cheese, ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese, all seasonings, 2 T. melted butter, and reserved pasta water. Add cooked pasta to bowl and toss gently to combine. 
    5. Pour pasta mixture in casserole dish.
    6. Combine panko with 2 T. melted butter in a small bowl.
    7. Sprinkle panko mixture over top of casserole.
    8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until dish is hot, pasta is melted and top crust is golden brown!
    9. Top with fresh chopped parsley and extra pasta pieces.
     Recipe courtesy of Carey Aron, originally posted by World of Pastabilities.