Friday, November 4, 2016

Tomato and Sausage Mac and Cheese

There are more kids in the after school program this year and more workers so I am cooking for about 30 people each day.  I'm always trying to come up with recipes that make a lot and are also nutritious and tasty.  I never know what is going to be a hit for everyone.  Mac and cheese of any kind is always a favorite and this one I made yesterday was the most popular of all.  One of the kids said it was a perfect dinner.
To begin the recipe, I browned lots of mild Italian sausages. 

After they cooled, I sliced them into thin slices.
 Leave the fond in the pot and add a bit of oil.  The fond is the brown stuff left in the pot after browning meat and it has lots of flavor.  Add a diced onion, minced garlic and some diced green pepper. Saute' for a couple minutes.  Sprinkle it with some cracked black pepper and some Cajun seasoning or seasoned salt.

 Next, I added a large can of crushed tomatoes, a cup of half and half, a couple blocks of cream cheese and a lot of shredded cheddar.  Let it simmer until the cheese melts and stir it all together to combine it.  Oh...I added some chopped greens too.  I'm always sneaking  fresh vegetables in to these meals when I can. 

I cooked the pasta for several minutes less time than it called for and then stirred it along with the sausage into the sauce.  At first it is a bit runny but after it sits for a while, the pasta finishes cooking and absorbs the liquid.