Tested till perfect Mike's Quick Lunch World-Famous Macaroni and Cheese

Mike's Quick Lunch World-Famous Macaroni and Cheese

Canadian Living Test Kitchen food experts create every recipe to inspire home cooks and share how fun and satisfying cooking is.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Recipe5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Portion size 6 to 8


  • 2 tbsp 2tbspvegetable oil
  • 2 2celery stalkcelery stalks, diced
  • 1 1oniononions, chopped
  • 1/2 1/2sweet green peppersweet green peppers, diced
  • 2 tsp 2tspdried basil
  • 1/2 cup 1/2cuptomato paste
  • 2 cans (28 oz/796 mL) 2cans (28 oz/796 mL)plum tomatoplum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) 1can (28 oz/796 mL)crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspsalt
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tsppepper
  • 6 cups 6cupsmedium pasta shells, (about 1 lb/500 g)
  • 9 slices 9slicesprocess Cheddar cheese
  • 9 slices 9slicesprocess mozzarella cheese or Swiss cheese
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Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

In large Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium heat; cook celery, onion, green pepper and basil, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

Add tomato paste; cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add plum and crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 hours.

Uncover and simmer for 1 hour or until sauce holds ripple when pushed. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate until cold. Refrigerate in airtight container for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.)

In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta shells until tender but firm, about 8 minutes. Drain and return pasta to pot. Add 2 cups (500 mL) of the tomato sauce; toss to coat.

Ladle 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) more sauce into 13-x 9-inch (3 L) glass baking dish; spread half of the pasta over top. Repeat layers once; top with 1 cup (250 mL) more sauce. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day; uncover and heat in 350°F (180°C) oven until heated through, about 40 minutes.) Reserve remaining sauce for another use.

Overlapping slightly, arrange Cheddar and mozzarella cheese evenly over top; bake in oven until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.

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