Creamy Pizza Macaroni and Cheese

You could call this mac and cheese a mash-up: It tastes just like pizza! We love using the oil from sun-dried tomatoes to make the topping[. Don't throw it out- it's also great drizzled on toasted bread or pasta.]

Total Time:
55 min
Prep:
10 min
Inactive:
10 min
Cook:
35 min

Yield:
8 to 10 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups half-and-half
  • 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces sharp Cheddar, shredded (about 3 cups)
  • 3 ounces Gruyere, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, roughly chopped, and 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato oil
  • 3 ounces pepperoni, thinly sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe.
  • Set an oven rack 6 inches from the heat source and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until it is al dente, about 6 minutes. Strain, reserving 1 3/4 cups of the pasta water. Set aside.

  • Heat the half-and-half, oregano and crushed red pepper in a large saucepan over medium heat until the mixture just comes to a simmer. Continue simmering until the half-and-half is reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Whisk in the Cheddar and Gruyere until all the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

  • Add the macaroni and reserved pasta water to the saucepan and stir to combine. (The mixture will look very loose, but the pasta will suck up a lot of the sauce as it bakes.) Gently stir in the marinara sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and pepperoni and season with more salt if needed. Pour into a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Toss the bread crumbs, Parmesan and sun-dried tomato oil together in a small bowl and sprinkle evenly over the macaroni and cheese. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the bread crumbs are lightly browned and crispy, about 10 minutes.

  • Copyright 2013 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved


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