MACARONI & CHEESE WITH TOMATOES & FONTINA
by Michele Anna Jordan
I don't know anyone who can resist good macaroni and cheese. Here, tomatoes contribute a lively, acidic element. Vegetarians can omit the pancetta, or replace it with minced and sauteed portobello mushrooms.
Yield: 8 servings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes.
Ready to serve: 45 minutes.
• 1 tablespoon kosher (coarse) salt plus more to taste
• 1 Ib. canneroni, trennete or other medium tube pasta
• 6 oz. pancetta, minced
• 1 (12-oz.) can evaporated milk
• 1/2 cup whipping cream
• 1 (14-oz.) can diced tomatoes
• 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 5 cups shredded or grated Monterey Jack cheese (20 oz.)
• 3 cups shredded or grated Italian fontina cheese (12 oz.)
• 2 cups fresh bread crumbs, toasted
1. Fill large pot two-thirds full of water; add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cook canneroni according to package directions; drain. Do not rinse.
2. Meanwhile, in medium skillet over medium heat, saute pancetta until translucent, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.
3. Heat oven to 350°F. In large bowl, combine evaporated milk, cream, tomatoes and hot pepper sauce. Season with pepper. Fold in cheeses. Add pasta and pancetta to cheese mixture; stir together gently but thoroughly.
4. Pour pasta mixture into 3 1/2-quart casserole. Season bread crumbs with salt and pepper; spread over pasta. Cover tightly with aluminum foil; bake 20 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 10 minutes or until bread crumbs are lightly toasted. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 1275 calories, 85 g total fat (45 g saturated fat), 210 mg cholesterol, 1660 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.