I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks from COOKS COUNTRY the TV show. I have quite a few recipes on my own for Mac & Cheese, but none that uses diced tomatoes. I even have one posted where I added tomatoes on top with a Parmesan cheese topping, but this recipe actually adds the diced tomatoes in the macaroni, & it is so delicious & cheesy, you won't believe your taste buds.
I did add a slight twist to the recipe with the addition of a bit of garlic & some extra cubes of cheese, but it really is a great recipe & it makes a large 13 X 9 size casserole dish. Hope you like it, we sure did.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. NOTE: instead of using 4 cups of half & half I used 2 cups of evaporated milk and 2 cups of heavy whipping cream. I also used regular diced tomatoes instead of petite. Spray a 13 X9 deep dish casserole dish with non stick cooking spray & set aside till needed
Boil macaroni add 1 Tablespoon of salt to water and cook for 6 minutes only. Then drain in a strainer or colander and pour back into the pot. Then add in the 2 cans of diced tomatoes UNDRAINED. Cook over medium high heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed into the pasta, about 5 minutes all the while you are continuously stirring to prevent pasta from sticking. Then remove from heat & set aside.
Next melt butter in a medium size sauce pan over medium high heat.
Add in the flour & cayenne Pepper, and stir until mixture becomes a thick paste.
These are some of the ingredients to make the sauce. The flour Evaporated milk and heavy cream and chicken broth.
Slowly Add in the milk and cream mixture along with the chicken broth, then whisk constantly to incorporate the flour mixture into the liquid, constantly whisking and stirring until mixture begins to come to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and simmer until mixture begins to thicken, about 15 minutes, and it will coat the back of a spoon.
Remove from heat, then pour in both shredded cheeses, and stir until the cheese melts . Add in the steak seasoning, granulated garlic, & blend together.
Now pour about half of the cheese mixture over the macaroni, and stir to blend together. Then add in the cheddar cheese cubes, and mozzarella cheese cubes. Stir to mix into macaroni.
Repeat with the remaining sauce, and stir until cheese sauce is mixed into the macaroni. Now pour into prepared casserole dish, and bake in preheated 400 degree F. oven for 15 -20 minutes. Place dish in a rimmed baking pan to catch any potential spills. PLEASE ALLOW CASSEROLE TO REST FOR 10 TO 15 MINUTES BEFORE SERVING, so it has time to set and come together.