This recipe is delicious! Unfortunately, it is loaded with calories, but it is great for when you want to have that occasional splurge for comfort food. I got this recipe from People magazine, I believe, of all places. I didn't even know they published recipes but it was in an edition I happen to be browsing through right before the Super Bowl this year. I made it for a party and it was gone in no time. This cheese sauce would be awesome on it's own I think as well. You can definitely make this without the sausage and it would be great as well but it makes a wonderful one-dish meal if included.
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 1⁄2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1⁄4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
For cheese sauce
- 1 tablespoon onion, finely minced
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 ounces all-purpose flour
- 1 quart milk
- 1 lb American cheese, slices (white or yellow)
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- ground nutmeg, to taste
- 1 cup heavy cream
Rest of ingredients
- 8 ounces grilled Italian sausage (cut in 1/4 inch slices, can be hot or sweet sausage)
- 1 1⁄2 lbs macaroni, and shells
- 1 garlic clove, peeled (for coating casserole dish)
- To prep before, make light roux; melt the 4 ounces butter in heavy bottomed pan, slowly add the flour and stir until combined and smooth.
- Cook over medium heat until just golden brown; set aside.
- Grill sausages or bake in oven and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In large pot, boil water and cook macaroni al dente.
- While pasta cooks, heat oil in a large skillet and add onions.
- Saute onions over low heat, stirring frequently.
- Add the roux to the onions and add the milk gradually, whisking to work out any lumps.
- Bring sauce to a full boil, then reduce heat and add cheese one slice at a time.
- Simmer until smooth and thickened.
- Adjust seasoning to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
- Strain through a fine-mesh colander, if desired.
- Add heavy cream and simmer to a good flavor and consistency.
- Rub an ovenproof casserole dish with the garlic, then add the macaroni, sliced sausage and sauce; mix well.
- In a small bowl, mix melted butter and bread crumbs and sprinkle mixture on top.
- Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes.
- Then take foil off, add grated cheese and cook uncovered for an additional 5 minutes. Let rest before serving.