Cheesy Baked Mac
400 GRAMS ELBOW MACARONI
FOR THE MEAT SAUCE:
2 TBSP COOKING OIL
½ CUP SAUSAGE OR HOTDOGS, SLICED
1 MEDIUM WHITE ONION, PEELED AND DICED
3 CLOVES GARLIC, PEELED AND MINCED
1 PC GREEN BELL PEPPER, SEEDED AND CHOPPED
300 GRAMS GROUND BEEF, LEAN
2 CUPS TOMATO SAUCE
½ CUP TOMATO PASTE
½ CUP TOMATO KETCHUP
½ CUP WATER
1 TEASPOON SUGAR
½ TEASPOON ITALIAN SEASONING/ DRIED BASIL OR 5 PCS FRESH BASIL LEAVES, CHOPPED
SALT & PEPPER, TO TASTE
FOR THE CHEESE SAUCE:
1 TBSP BUTTER
1 TBSP FLOUR
2 CUPS FRESH MILK
1 BAR – EDEN MELTSARAP 165G, DICED
PINCH OF GROUND NUTMEG (OPTIONAL)
SALT & PEPPER, TO TASTE
FOR THE CHEESE TOPPING:
½ CUP BREAD CRUMBS (PANKO)
1 BAR – EDEN MELTSARAP 165G, GRATED
PARSLEY, CHOPPED (OPTIONAL)
Cook the macaroni pasta according to package direction
Allow to cool and set aside until assembly
For the meat sauce:
In a pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add sliced sausage or hotdogs and cook, stirring occasionally for about 1-2 mins or until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
Add onions and garlic and cook until softened.
Add bell peppers and cook until tender-crisp.
Add ground beef and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking apart with the back of a spoon, for about 7-10 mins until lightly browned. Drain any excess fat.
Add tomato sauce, tomato paste, ketchup, and water.
Stir in sugar and the dried herbs.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat. Cover and continue to cook for about one hour or until meat is fully cooked and sauce is thickened.
During the last 10 mins of cooking, add cooked sausage/hotdog. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
For the cheese sauce:
In a pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and stir well into a smooth paste. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes.
Gradually add milk to the mix, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Cook for about 2-3 mins or until smooth and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Stir in nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.
Gradually add EDEN MELTSARAP, whisking regularly until melted. Cook until cheese sauce is thick but spreadable.
For the cheese toppings:
Combine bread crumbs, grated cheese, and chopped parsley. Sprinkle on top of the cheese sauce.
Grease bottom and sides of a rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
In a large bowl, combine macaroni and meat sauce. Gently toss together until well-combined.
Transfer pasta mixture into prepared dish. Pour cheese sauce on top spreading across to completely cover the pasta. Sprinkle cheese toppings.
Bake in a 350 – 375 ℉ for about 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 15 minutes before cutting into serving portions.