A lot of stories claim that mac and cheese was created by Thomas Jefferson, Marco Polo or the cooks of China. My favorite theory? An Italian housewife invented it to introduce non-Italian Americans to macaroni. —Stephanie Sorbie, Glendale, Arizona
This pasta is great for a big gathering. It works well as a starter dish or as a main dish for a smaller group. One peeled, diced carrot may be used in place of the sugar for a milder, sweeter and healthier substitute.—Kathryn White, Pinehurst, North Carolina
"With fresh mushrooms, plum tomatoes and herbs to spice up its flavor, this dish tastes like summertime to me," says Jacqueline Graves of Lawrenceville, Georgia. Chock-full of garden goodness, the chunky sauce cooks up quickly, too.
“This recipe was originally an entree with chicken and linguini,” notes Barbara Spitzer of Lodi, California. “I keep changing the ingredients to go with whatever else I’m serving for dinner, but my husband prefers this recipe.”
Our Test Kitchen tossed tender tube pasta with fresh spinach, onion, blue cheese and chicken broth to create this aromatic entree. A sprinkling of toasted honey pecans tops it all with a touch of sweetness.
A little peppery heat warms up this tasty and versatile veggie-and-orzo side dish from Sam Stusek in Annapolis, Maryland. “I often substitute a variety of our favorite seasonal vegetables and it's always delicious,” he notes.