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Macaroni 'n' Cheese Italiano Recipe

"I've always liked macaroni and cheese, but my husband prefers macaroni with tomato sauce. So I added spaghetti sauce and mozzarella to give my mac and cheese an Italian flavor," writes Isabelle Wolters of Scituate, Massachusetts.
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 20 min. Bake: 25 min. + standing YIELD:6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup meatless spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups fat-free milk
  • 1-1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 plum tomatoes, seeded and sliced

Directions

  • 1. Cook pasta according to package directions until cooked but firm. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, saute the onion, celery and green pepper in oil until tender. Stir in spaghetti sauce, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Drain macaroni; stir into sauce. Transfer to a 2-qt. baking dish coated with cooking spray; set aside.
  • 2. In a saucepan, combine the flour, salt, nutmeg and cayenne. Gradually stir in milk until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheddar and mozzarella cheeses until melted.
  • 3. Pour over macaroni mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese and tomatoes. Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutritional Facts

One serving equals 262 calories, 9 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 25 mg cholesterol, 406 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 16 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2 lean meat, 1-1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 fat.