Thursday, October 11, 2012

Cheesy Mac with Sausage, Feta and Tomato

This weekend, I actually made a menu plan for the entire week. That never happens. But Tuesday night I got home from my run and wasn't feeling what I was scheduled to cook. I guess that's why we never decide a week in advance what to have for dinner each night.

So, instead of following the plan, I raided the kitchen to see what I could throw together. It was chilly and cloudy outside so I was in the mood for something with a touch of comfort. But I also wanted to enjoy some time on the couch so I was hoping not to spend too long preparing dinner.

I pulled a box of elbow macaroni out of the cabinet and was reminded of the many times in college when Josh and I thought we were making "gourmet" mac and cheese by cooking our own macaroni and throwing fancy cheese, olive oil, and salt in it. It was settled- I'd experiment with a creative, healthier mac and cheese based on the ingredients in my fridge.

Here's how it went down:

1 box elbox macaroni
3/4 c. cherry tomatoes, quartered
olive oil
1 package uncooked spinach and feta chicken sausages (or other chicken sausage)
1 c. shredded mozerella
4 oz. crumbled feta
8 thin slices fresh mozerella
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Pinch dried thyme

I cooked the pasta according to box directions while cooking the sausage over the stove, breaking apart into crumbled pieces as it cooked. I mixed the cooked pasta, cooked sausage, tomatoes, shredded mozerella, feta, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and stirred together. I spread into a casserole dish and topped with fresh mozerella and thyme. I baked it at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese was melted. I served with spinach and felt perfectly warmed but not too greasy after this lighter version of my favorite comfort food. Josh loved it too which worked out well since we had almost 2 meals worth of leftovers! We will definitely be making this again.

Do you ever throw something totally random together and end up loving how it turns out? What is your favorite comfort food?

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