Macaroni and Cheese is the perfect comfort food. And when I saw this recipe for a macaroni and cheese involving tomato sauce AND goat cheese, I had to try it. (Anyone who knows me can vouch for my love of tomato sauce. Or gravy as we call it in my very Italian family!) While this isn’t Grandma’s gravy, it’s a very delicious twist on classic mac & cheese.
Baked Macaroni with Tomato Sauce and Goat Cheese
- 2 cups pasta (I used Barilla Whole Wheat Penne)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cans petite diced tomatoes
- 1/8 tsp sugar
- salt, to taste
- basil (fresh would be better, but I used dried)
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 5 oz soft goat cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
- 6 oz fresh baby spinach
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, wide skillet. Add the garlic. Cook 30 seconds, stirring, or until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, sugar, salt and basil to the pan. Stir, turn up the heat, and bring to a boil. When it begins to bubble, lower the heat back to medium and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until thickens. Add freshly ground black pepper. Stir in the goat cheese and parmesan cheese.
- Preheat the oven to 350.
- When the water for the pasta starts to boil, add the pasta and cook it for a minute or two less than the package instructions say since it will cook more in the oven. In the last two minutes, add the spinach. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Add the tomato-goat cheese sauce to the bowl and combine thoroughly. Transfer to an 9×9 pan or equivalent.
- Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top of the pasta. Bake until casserole is bubbly and breadcrumbs are lightly brown, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.
Source: Adapted from Eats Well With Others
Even though you are ingesting a large amount of creamy goat cheese, this dish actually gives you the illusion you are eating healthy since you keep seeing all that green spinach with each bite! This meal really surprised me as one of my favorite pasta dishes I have tried recently.
With all the pizza and pasta I for some reason planned for this week, it’s a good thing I’m headed to pilates on Thursday. We did so much walking this gorgeous weekend with the Brooklyn Bridge & the 5K, but the past 2 days have been rainy and Ben and I haven’t been out of the house as much as usual. I am also looking forward to lots of bike riding this weekend! Which can only mean one thing…
T-3 days until Memorial Day weekend festivities begin! So excited to be back in Long Beach Island for the kick-off of the summer season. Happiness.