Specially Selected Mascarpone and Sun-Dried Tomato Macaroni and Cheese (Aldi)

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A few days ago I tried Specially Selected’s Truffle Macaroni and Cheese, a review which you will find paired up with this one.  But the one I was secretly most excited for was this one, which my wife picked up during the same trip.  I’m not one for mushroom (though I did end up liking it quite a bit), but the combination of cheese and tomatoes have never let down anyone.

I’m not too familiar with my cheeses, especially “exotic” ones like mascarpone, so I can’t say with exact certainty that’s what this smells like, but this dish is packed with an overwhelming smell of cheesiness.  Like the truffle mac, once cooked, it’s smothered in cheese, with the added benefit of having little bits of sun-dried tomatoes, instead of mushrooms.  But this isn’t just one of those women that are just good looks and no personality…no, this has the taste to match.

It’s absolutely exploding with a decadent cheesy flavor, and “decadent” is a word I usually reserve for desserts at fancy restaurants.  The tomatoes actually play a key role here, helping to offset the mascarpone explosion, by balancing it out with a hint of sweetness.  For being completely dried out, the tomatoes manage to taste at least somewhat fresh in the finished dish, and have a nice, soft texture.

Now one thing I will say, is for this one, my wife added the recommended, but optional, additions of butter and grated parmesan cheese, something I did not do while preparing the truffle mac.  So that no doubt helped to make this even creamier and more delicious.  I have no doubts it would taste pretty darn good even without those additions, so if you don’t have butter or parmesan on hand, you’ll still be left with a delicious, and at least somewhat healthier, entrée.

Overall: 8/10.  We wouldn’t hesitate to get this again.  A ridiculously cheesy macaroni with bits of sun-dried tomatoes…how could you go wrong?  As this dish proves, you can’t.  If you like really any kind of cheese, but especially mascarpone, you owe it to yourself to check this out.  I should note that we did prepare this with the recommended additions of butter and grated parmesan cheese, which no doubt made it even creamier (and even less healthy) than it would normally be, but I also wouldn’t think twice to try it the way it is right out of the box.  It’s a Special Buy at Aldi stores, meaning once it’s gone, it’s gone until the next time, so time is of the essence!

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