A 30 minute meal from Rachael Ray. A Mac N Cheese for grown-ups. YUM. One of the reviewers on her website said that next time they may add a can of drained diced tomatoes to the top instead of the cherry tomatoes. . .just a thought!
- 1 lb ziti pasta (may sub penne)
- extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling (EVOO)
- 6 slices bacon, chopped
- 2 leeks, trimmed halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- two 3-ounce bricks cream cheese, cut into pieces
- 1 1⁄2 cups shredded asiago cheese (may sub parmigiano-reggiano)
- 1⁄2 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 1 cup basil leaves, torn
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- drizzle extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 500°. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
- While the pasta is working, in a large skillet, heat a drizzle of EVOO over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp at the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the leeks and cook until softened, 3 minutes. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste for 1 minute. Stir in the cream cheese until melted. Stir in half of the shredded cheese, then the reserved pasta cooking water.
- Add the pasta to the sauce and toss. Pile into a casserole and top with the tomatoes and remaining shredded cheese. Bake until browned on top, 7 to 8 minutes.
- In a large bowl, toss the arugula and basil with the lemon juice and a drizzle of EVOO. Serve on top of the pasta.
Wonderful! I added the cherry tomatoes to bacon and leeks to saute them a bit.
Oh my gosh, so very very good! The bacon, red pepper flakes and tomato paste lift mac'n'cheese to sublime heights, the cream cheese gives a smooth rich sauce and the asagio (I used parmesan) is the crowning glory, this is wonderful!!! I used fresh tomatoes, diced, and DH and I Feasted.... I cut the recipe in half for just us, and wish I hadn't, it gave us a meal plus ONE office lunch, I could have eaten this all week!! :D I used small shells for the pasta, which worked very well, and I did do the 'salad' on top, but it works very well without as well! Just marvellous, JB..... made for Aus/NZ swap#35
This is wonderful! I used penne, low fat cream cheese, and the diced tomatoes on top. Very filling and enjoyable. Thanks for sharing!