Fantastic Italian Mac and Cheese

Everyone loves Mac and Cheese. And everyone love Italian food! Combining the two make a wonderfully rich main dish or a small side. I personally like to serve this as a main dish adding some nice steamed asparagus with fresh lemon juice and garlic.  Add a vegetable filled salad creating a meal nice enough for company or Sunday dinner.  Eating well and in moderation allows you to eat rich foods. 

Italian Mac and Cheese

Preheat oven 350 degrees.

1 small clove garlic, pressed
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese

Bechamel Sauce

 8 ounces slice mushrooms
5 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups milk
2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried sage
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound pipette or elbow pasta
1 cup prosciutto, diced

Stir garlic into melted butter. Put breadcrumbs in medium bowl and drizzle the butter over the crumbs. Add Parmesan cheese to combined. Set aside.

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in saute pan. Add mushroom saute until cooked about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Melt remaining 4 tablespoons butter in heavy saucepan. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk over low heat for 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk,  whisking constantly. Whisk until sauce is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream, about 6 minutes. Raise the heat to medium, gently simmering and whisking occasionally, for 10 minutes.  Turn off heat and gently whisk in cheeses. Add sage and nutmeg. Keep warm.

Cook pasta according to package directions.

Return pasta to pan. Add the cheese sauce to pasta. Gently stir in prosciutto and mushrooms.
Transfer pasta mixture to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Evenly top with reserved breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until the top is golden.


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