Mexican Mac & Cheese

I needed an easy dish to make for our local Masonic Picnic–they have had this picnic for 131 years here in Davie County–and that would also be easy to double for dinner guests that evening at the house.  This was my pick.  Found it in Better Homes & Gardens magazine under prize-tested recipes–this recipe was a $500 prize winner in the New Ways with Sausage category.

12 oz. dried mostaccioli or rigatoni pasta (3 cups)
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 16-oz. jar green medium-hot salsa
2 8-oz. pkg. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 cups)
    Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno peppers, and chopped fresh cilantro.
    Salsa (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly grease 13 x 9 inch baking dish; set aside.

2.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain; set aside.

3.  Meanwhile, in large skillet cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender.  Drain fat. Stir in green salsa.

4.  In prepared baking dish layer half of the cooked pasta, half the sausage mixture, and half the cheese.  Repeat layers.

5.  Bake, uncovered for 35 minutes or until bubbly.  Let stand 10 minutes.  Top with tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro.  Makes 12 servings.

NOTE–Next time I make this I will use a smaller pasta.  The rigatoni seemed too big.  Farfalle might be fun!

Source: Better Homes & Gardens Magazine

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