Comfort food at its finest – baked macaroni and cheese made flavorful with spicy Italian sausage and topped with tomato slices.
2 links of Italian sausage, casings removed
6 cups milk
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups grated cheddar cheese
3 cups grated Gruyère cheese
1 pound elbow macaroni
2 tomatoes, sliced thin
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish and set aside.
In a medium skillet, brown the sausages in a little olive oil, using a wooden spoon to break them up into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
Prepare the macaroni according to the package directions for al dente. Drain and toss with a small amount of olive oil (so it won’t stick), then set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm the milk over medium heat – do not let it boil.
While the milk is warming, place the butter in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Whisk butter and flour together for 1 minute.
Slowly pour hot milk into butter-flour mixture. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick.
Remove the pan from the heat. Stir in salt, nutmeg, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and cheeses. Stir in the sausage and macaroni.
Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and arrange tomato slices on top.
Bake until cheese is lightly browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes.