Italian Mini Meat Loaves with Mac and Three Cheeses

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1 1/3 pounds ground sirloin

1 large egg, beaten

2/3 cup Italian bread crumbs, a couple of handfuls

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano, plus 1/2 cup

1/2 small green bell pepper, chopped

1 small yellow onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons tomato paste

Salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound corkscrew shaped pasta with lines (cavatappi) or small shell pasta

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoon all-purpose flour

2 cups milk

2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar

1/2 cup shredded asiago cheese

1 teaspoon coarse black pepper

1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

2 to 3 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for pasta. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Place meat in a bowl. Make a well in meat. Fill well with egg, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, peppers, onions, garlic, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Mix meat and breading and form 4 individual oval meat loaves, 1-inch thick. Coat loaves with extra-virgin olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Roast 18 to 20 minutes.
  3. When the pasta water boils, salt water and add pasta. Cook until slightly undercooked ? pasta will continue to cook when combined with cheese sauce.
  4. Melt butter in a saucepan and add flour. Whisk in milk. Bring to a bubble. Thicken milk, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cheeses: Cheddar, asiago, 1/2 cup Parmesan and black pepper. Stir to melt cheeses. Drain pasta and combine with melted cheese sauce and transfer to a flameproof baking dish or casserole. Place bread crumbs in a bowl and add extra-virgin olive oil and herbs to bread crumbs. Top pasta with bread crumbs. Place under a broiler and brown bread crumbs. Serve cheese and pasta alongside meat loaf.