Italian Macaroni and Cheese

Oh good God.  Oh yessss! Make this today.  That is all I have to say.

What You'll Need:
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound sausage, casings removed
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1/2 cup butter, unsalted
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound medium shells
  • 8 slices pepperoni, sandwich-style, diced
  • 2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded 

1.  Heat olive oil over medium-high heat and add sausage to the pan.  Break up sausage with wooden spoon under crumbled.  Add garlic to the pan and saute until sausage starts to brown.  Add red wine to the pan and incorporate.  Cook until browned all the way through and drain onto paper towel-lined plate.  Set aside.

2.  In a sauce pot, heat butter until melted.  Add flour and Italian seasoning, and whisk until incorporated.  Let cook until browned and flour is cooked.  Add room temperature buttermilk and heat.  Then, add milk and heat through.  Add crushed tomatoes.  Whisk everything together and bring to a slow boil.

3.  Cook pasta shells according to package directions, but drain about two minutes before they are finished cooking.  In a large mixing bowl, toss pasta, crumbled sausage, and pepperoni.  Transfer to a large baking dish.  Top pasta with a mixture of 1 1/2 cups Parmesan and 1 1/2 cups of mozzarella.

4.  Pour tomato cream sauce over top the entire dish evenly.  Wiggle the dish around a little bit, ensuring the sauce starts to fall through the pasta shells and start melting that cheese.  Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan and 1/2 cup mozzarella.  Put in a 375-degree oven for 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Now you may begin eating the most glorious macaroni and cheese ever.  You're welcome ;-)


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