The holidays are finally over, and life can get back to some semblance of normal. If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to go on a diet (and most people do make that one and break it within the first couple of weeks), maybe you should print this one and make it next month … or next week …It’s a new take on two very old comfort foods that can be modified for the calorie (or carb) counter without having to do a lot of math or even to stress out! (I’m guessing most of us resolved NOT to stress out so much in 2014!) If you didn’t, maybe you’re already stress free so tell me your tricks and if it’s OK to share them with all the Cooking With Char friends!
Anyway….I’m going to give you a simple, basic recipe for the Mac & Cheese or, feel free to use your own (even the one out of the ‘blue box’). Top the pizza dough as I explain, with the Mac & Cheese and you’re ready to pop it in the oven to brown … or get creative and add sausage, pepperoni, olives, sun dried tomatoes, mushrooms, or whatever pizza toppings you like. Believe me, they will be great on top of the good old M&C!
To make it a bit healthier, use whole wheat pizza dough and pasta for extra fiber and more texture, reduced fat cheese, 1 or 2% milk or even non-fat milk and/or sour cream and an all-veggie topping. Serve with a crisp salad and dinner is DONE!
Mac & Cheese Pizza
- 1 Raw Pizza Dough, preferably whole wheat (purchased or homemade) *
- 1-1/2 c cooked elbow macaroni (whole wheat preferred, cooked al dente)
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. flour (all purpose)
- 2/3 c milk at room temperature (if using non-dairy, use unflavored)
- 2 oz. grated, sharp cheddar cheese
- 2 oz. grated Jack cheese
- 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tbsp. sour cream (lite is OK)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 c pizza sauce (homemade or purchased)
- Corn meal (few teaspoons, if you are not using a pizza stone)
Preheat oven to 425.
Unless using a pizza stone, sprinkle cornmeal over 14 – 16” sided cookie sheet. By hand, stretch pizza dough to 12” – 14” round on stone or baking sheet. Set aside.
In a medium sized, heavy sauté pan or deep sauce pan, make a roux of the butter and flour over medium heat by combining the butter and flour and whisking continually until well combined. Slowly, whisk in the milk until smooth. Whisk in the cheeses, sour cream, garlic powder, salt and pepper and continue to whisk until the sauce comes to a boil. Continue to stir and cook for about 2 minutes to be sure that it is completely smooth.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta and drain. When the cheese sauce is done, pour the sauce over the pasta and toss lightly and completely. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the pizza dough, then cover with Macaroni & Cheese, leaving about a 3/4” edge around the pizza. Top with toppings of your choice if desired.
Bake for 15 – 20 minutes until cheese topping is golden brown. Remove carefully and let sit for about 2 minutes for the cheese to set; cut with a pizza cutter and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
* If using a store-bought, prebaked pizza, follow package directions for baking. Just be sure toppings are hot and cheese is bubbly and brown. You may need to cover edges to prevent burning.