Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mexican Mac and Cheese

Howdy strangers!  Tonight's meal was another 'SURPRISE' for my husband, as he has long since told me that he doesn't like mac and cheese.  I decided to try something sassy and hopefully get him to enjoy it!  I picked up this handy dandy recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens website, for those of you that are interested in trying it yourself!
First thing's first, I preheated my oven to 350 degrees.  Then I got the ingredients that I needed: rigatoni, sausage, chopped onion, green salsa, Monterey Jack cheese, tomatoes, cilantro and 1 jalapeno!
The first thing I did was boil a saucepan of water and put 12 ounces of rigatoni in to cook based on the box directions.  Side note: don't be like me and look at a conversion for ounces to cups, because MY conversion chart said 1 1/2 cups.  Had I managed to look a little farther to the left, I would have seen the parenthesis that stated '3 cups'.  Lesson learned!!!  I also chopped 1 cup of onion and took the skin off of my sausages to cook in a pan until the sausages were browned and the onions were soft.
While that was cooking, I grated about 4 cups of Monterey Jack cheese and diced the tomatoes, cilantro and jalapeno pepper for later.
After the meat had cooked, I drained it, put it back on the heat and added 1 16 ounce jar of green salsa to the mix.  I let that cook while I drained the pasta and lightly grease a baking dish.  Then I made two layers (each) of pasta, meat mixture and cheese.
I put the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes (the recipe called for 35 minutes or until bubbly, and the mac and cheese was super bubbly by then!).
I let that sit for about 5 minutes, served into bowls and topped with the tomatoes, cilantro and jalapenos.  Yummies!!!!
This was surprisingly filling!  I expected everyone to go back for seconds, but we were all stuffed by the first!  This meal was only 378 calories and only $2.99/serving!  Seriously...and guess what?!?  My husband is now interested in letting me try different types of mac and cheese on him now, since this one was so good!!  Yay!!!!
Here's the recipe:

12 ounces dried rigatoni (3 cups)
1 pound pork sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 16 ounce jar green salsa
4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno peppers and chopped cilantro

Happy cooking everyone!!!!

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