This is a very, very good mac and cheese, and it made a lot! I used about 3/4 whole wheat rigatoni and 1/4 regular ziti and a grated Italian cheese blend in place of fontina. That gave some color and size variety that was pleasant. I also made about 1/4 of the peppers jalapeno, added some garlic, and used panko on top. And I prefer half as much cornstarch for thickening instead of flour. Easy to mix up ahead of time, then bake right before eating. I'm sure this would also halve easily or double.
Two-Pepper Rigatoni and Cheese
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)
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Amount per serving
- Calories: 408
- Fat: 12.8g
- Saturated fat: 7.8g
- Monounsaturated fat: 3.3g
- Polyunsaturated fat: 0.6g
- Protein: 19.2g
- Carbohydrate: 54.5g
- Fiber: 2.4g
- Cholesterol: 40mg
- Iron: 2.5mg
- Sodium: 550mg
- Calcium: 293mg
- 5 cups uncooked rigatoni (16 ounces uncooked pasta)
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups fat-free milk
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped pickled jalapeÃ±o pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sliced green onions
- Cooking spray
- 2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
- 2. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; place in a large bowl.
- 3. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add to pasta.
- 4. Add flour to pan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, stirring until cheeses melt and mixture is smooth. Stir in jalapeño and salt. Add cheese mixture to pasta, tossing well to coat. Stir in green onions. Spoon pasta mixture into a 13 x 9–inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- 5. Place bread slices in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure about 1 cup. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Combine butter and breadcrumbs in a small bowl; toss until blended. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until browned.
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