Now I personally believe that texture is everything, so I wanted to play with the traditional idea of macaroni and cheese but really mix things up. And thus was born the home made gourmet sauteed pasta with cheese, bacon and fresh baby tomatoes.
- 2 cups dry of rigatoni pasta (On the weekends, maybe research how to make this from scratch. Rigatoni can be substituted with anything similar in your pantry or with a gluten-free version.)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 2– large heirloom tomatoes, sliced
- 4–5 leaves of fresh basil
- 1 cups of your favorite cheese(s)
- 1/3 cup of minced bacon (optional)
Magic in action
- Boil pasta to an al dente finish (don’t forget to add salt before turning the stove on)
- Strain the pasta and then sauté it in a skillet until it’s slightly brown. (I prefer a nice cast iron, and don’t worry if you burn it! Just make some more and use olive oil or a dab of butter.)
- Get a 2 quart ceramic baker and cover the entire inside with some olive oil or butter to make sure nothing sticks
- Start with a layer of tomatoes. Next, put the garlic through a press (can use the entire ? clove) and place some of the pressed garlic on the tomatoes
- Add a layer of your sautéed pasta and repeat twice
- Once you’re at the very top, top with your cheese(s). Instead of shredding it, I just break off pieces of a variety of cheeses to give the dish more texture.(This time I did Monterey Jack that had fresh basil in it and some Midnight Moon cheese— trust me—get this!)
- Turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake for roughly 20-25 minutes, and then broil on high for 2 minutes to give some burn elements to the dish
- Once slightly cooled, add some basil leaves on top as well as the minced bacon. Now you’re ready to feed that family some quick and delicious food!
Also, please note that no additional salting is needed because of the saltiness from the cheese. And combined with the sweet tomatoes, it will produce an amazing result! I know this is not completely macaroni and cheese, but that was the inspiration.
Let’s inspire others
What are some of your favorite pasta dishes to create or develop that can feed the family quickly and yet stay budget friendly? Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below and enjoy the recipe!
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