Easy Mac and Cheese Variation

Yield:  4 to 6 servings.        


  • 1 pound dried pasta shells, medium size
  • ½ head broccoli, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 hot Italian turkey sausage, or raw turkey chorizo sausage, casing removed
  • 1 tbsp. roughly chopped fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 8 canned plum tomatoes, chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, for top
  • Butter, for buttering baking dish
  • Handful of fresh herbs such as basil or flat leaf parsley, to finish


  1. Cook shells in boiling, salted water according to package directions.  Blanch broccoli in pasta water during last minute of cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté onion in olive oil in a large skillet for 3 to 4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic, sausage and oregano. Brown sausage meat until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper and zucchini and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomato and continue to cook, another 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat broiler on high. Butter a medium baking dish.
  4. Drain pasta and toss with sausage mixture. Remove from heat. Stir in 1 cup mozzarella cheese and 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with ½ cup grated mozzarella and 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese. Place under broiler until cheese is golden brown and bubbly, about 3 to 4 minutes (depends on heat of broiler). Makes 4 to 6 servings, depending on appetite.