Mexican Mac and Cheese

Green tomatillo salsa takes the place of a creamy cheese sauce in this deliciously unconventional casserole of macaroni and cheese. When cooking pasta for this recipe -- or any other -- baked pasta dish, cook only to the minimum time specified on the pasta package. Pasta will continue to soften as it bakes.

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    12   ounces 
    dried mostaccioli or rigatoni pasta (3 cups)
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    1   pound 
    bulk pork sausage
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    1   cup 
    chopped onion
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    1  16  ounce jar 
    green medium-hot salsa
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    2  8  ounce package 
    shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 cups)
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    Tomato wedges, sliced jalapeno peppers, and chopped fresh cilantro
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    Salsa (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 3-quart rectangular baking dish; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; set aside.
Meanwhile, in large skillet cook sausage and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender. Drain fat, Return sausage and onion to skillet. Stir in green salsa.
In prepared baking dish layer half of the cooked pasta, half the sausage mixture, and half the cheese. Repeat layers. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes. Top with tomato, jalapeno, and cilantro. If desired, serve with additional salsa. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition information
Per Serving: cal. (kcal) 378, Fat, total (g) 22, chol. (mg) 61, sat. fat (g) 11, carb. (g) 25, Monosaturated fat (g) 8, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 2, Trans fatty acid (g) 0, fiber (g) 1, sugar (g) 4, pro. (g) 19, vit. A (IU) 388.72, vit. C (mg) 3.54, Thiamin (mg) 0.39, Riboflavin (mg) 0.33, Niacin (mg) 3.36, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0.16, Folate (g) 72.57, Cobalamin (Vit. B12) (g) 0.67, sodium (mg) 474, Potassium (mg) 168, calcium (mg) 302.9, iron (mg) 1.98, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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