Macaroni and Cheese With Sausage
This creamy macaroni and cheese is baked with browned sausage, bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and a variety of seasonings.
- Serves: 6 persons
- 8ounces macaroni or ditalini
- 1tablespoon olive oil
- 1pound bulk pork sausage, spicy or Italian style
- 1sweet bell pepper, chopped, green or combination of colors
- 1medium onion, chopped
- 1teaspoon Cajun or Creole seasoning blend
- Dash red pepper flakes, optional
- ¼teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1clove garlic, minced
- 2tablespoons flour
- 2cups whole milk
- 2cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1cup (4 ounces) American cheese, cut in cubes or shredded
- Salt, to taste
- 8ounces grape tomatoes, halved or quartered lengthwise
- ½cup fine soft bread crumbs
- 1tablespoon melted butter
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water following package directions. Drain and then set aside.
Step 3Heat the oven to 350 F.
Step 4Grease a 2 1/2- to 3-quart casserole.
Step 5Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or sauté pan over medium heat. Crumble the sausage and add it to the pan along with the bell pepper and onion; cook, stirring and breaking up sausage, until sausage is no longer pink and vegetables are tender. Spoon off any excess grease and add the seasoning, pepper flakes, black pepper, and garlic.
Step 6Add the flour to the sausage mixture and cook for about 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in the milk. Continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly. Stir in the cheeses and add salt, to taste.
Step 7Fold the macaroni and tomatoes into the sausage and sauce mixture. Spoon into the prepared casserole.
Step 8Combine the breadcrumbs with melted butter and sprinkle over the casserole.
Step 9Bake the for 25 minutes.
Step 10Increase heat to 400 F and bake for 5 to 10 minutes longer, until crumb topping is lightly browned.