Crowd Pleasers

Pepperoni Pizza Mac and Cheese

This easy Mac and Cheese will please kids of all ages. A cheese sauce made with mozzarella is combined with tomato sauce and Italian spices. Add in whole-wheat penne – and then lots of pepperoni –and you have a bowl full of pizza macaroni love.

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Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups (13 ounces) Wisconsin mozzarella cheese
  • 1 16-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 5 ounces mini pepperoni, or chopped pepperoni

Directions

Preheat broiler.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Salt water and add pasta. Cook until al dente; drain and set aside.

In sauté pan, melt butter. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 more minute. Slowly whisk in milk, whisking out any clumps. Cook until thickened. Stir in the Italian seasoning. Reduce heat to low.

Working in 3 batches, whisk in 2 1/2 cups mozzarella, making sure cheese is melted in between additions. Add in tomato sauce and pepperoni and heat until warmed through. Stir in reserved pasta.

Transfer mixture to oven-safe baking dish, or individual baking dishes and top with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella. Place under broiler – until the cheese is melted.

Tip: Feel free to mix it up with your family's favorite pizza toppings, such as sausage, peppers or mushrooms.

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Be sure to use plenty of cheese. Use as much cheese as macaroni, by weight. More is better!