Tablet Life & Arts

Everyday Food: It all starts with mac ’n’ cheese

Save time and money with a warm, hit-the-spot supper and delicious ideas for stretching leftovers into fresh new meals.

Three-cheese macaroni

Serves 4

Serve with a crunchy salad or steamed green beans to round out the meal.

1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain.

2. In pot, melt 4 tablespoons butter over medium. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes.

3. Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Cook, whisking along bottom of pot, until boiling, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter, mustard, Old Bay and cheeses. Stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth; season with salt. Add macaroni to sauce and stir to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 749 calories, 39 grams fat (23 grams saturated fat), 35 grams protein, 65 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 47 percent of calories from fat.

Baked tomato casserole

Serves 4

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Add onion and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomatoes with juice and cook until tomatoes are heated through, about 2 minutes. Add reserved three-cheese macaroni, gently stirring to combine. Remove from heat and stir in sour cream and basil; season with salt. Transfer to a 2-quart baking dish, top with breadcrumbs, and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Bake until sauce is bubbling at edges and breadcrumbs are golden, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 636 calories, 36 grams fat (18 grams saturated fat), 25 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 51 percent of calories from fat.

Sausage and spinach Alfredo

Serves 4

In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add sausages and red-pepper flakes and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes. Add reserved three-cheese macaroni to skillet, gently stirring to combine. Stir in heavy cream and spinach, and cook until spinach begins to wilt, about 4 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan.

Nutritional information per serving: 667 calories, 37 grams fat (19 grams saturated fat), 34 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 50 percent of calories from fat.