Monday, October 17, 2011

Creamy Macaroni with Spicy Sausage

As I previously mentioned, this is the other recipe I have made from my new cookbook, homemade by Clodagh McKenna - Mac and Cheese with Spicy Sausage.

Now the original recipe is called Creamy Macaroni with Smoked Bacon but as I was reading the notes with the recipe, Clodagh suggests using spicy sausage in place of the smoked bacon. So I did because it seemed more heartier than just bacon for a main course dinner. I just used spicy Italian sausage.

Here is the recipe with my moderations:

1 box (15 or 18 oz) macaroni
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced smoked thick-cut bacon OR a pound of spicy sausage cut into 1-inch chunks
1/2 cup bread crumbs (or you can grate a few pieces of stale white bread)
1/3 stick butter

Cheese sauce:
2/3 stick butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 3/4 cups milk
1 3/4 cups grated cheddar cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottom saucepan, stir in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes until it resembles a small piece of dough. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring all the time. Stir in the cheddar and Parmesan cheeses. Season with salt and pepper, add the Dijon mustard, and stir.

Turn down the heat and cook until the sauce starts to thicken (it should coat the back of a wooden spoon). The cheese sauce should be creamy in texture; if it becomes too thick, add more milk.

While the cheese sauce is simmering, add the pasta to a large saucepan of salted boiling water and stir for about 30 seconds so the pasta doesn't stick together. Cook for 10 minutes, then drain.

Place another skillet over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the sausage and cook until done.

Pour the pasta into a 10 inch baking dish, followed by the cooked sausage, followed by the cheese sauce, making sure the sausage and the cheese sauce is evenly distributed over the pasta.

Place the sausage skillet back over medium-high heat. Add the butter and once melted, stir in the bread crumbs and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the cheesy macaroni and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until the top is golden.

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