Mac and Cheese is the ultimate – to me – comfort food. For years we ate The Blue Box for many years and it was a fav. Nowadays I make my own but am always looking for new ways to make it. When I saw this recipe from Martha Stewart I saw great potential for a new fav in the house. So I changed it up some, then added her ingredients for the Alfredo. Kinda!
1/2 pound rotini macaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk, room temperature
3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s seasoning (or comparable)
4 cups shredded mixed cheddar cheese
1/2 ounce Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 pound sweet Italian sausages, casings removed
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 tablespoons heavy cream
3 ounces baby spinach
Shredded Mixed Cheddar, for serving
n a large pot of boiling salted water, cook macaroni according to package instructions. Drain.
In pot, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium. Whisk in flour and cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is pale golden and has a nutty aroma, about 4 minutes.
Whisking constantly, slowly add milk. Cook, whisking along bottom of pot, until boiling, about 7 minutes. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and add 1 tablespoon butter, mustard, Chachere’s seasoning, and cheeses. Stir until cheeses are melted and sauce is smooth; season with salt. Add rotini to sauce and stir to combine.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil over medium. Add red onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add sausages and red-pepper flakes and cook, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through, 8 minutes. Add macaroni and cheese to skillet, gently stirring to combine. Stir in heavy cream and spinach, and cook until spinach begins to wilt, 4 minutes. To serve, sprinkle with Shredded Cheddar Mix.