Sausage Macaroni and Cheese with Parmesan Crust
Swap Italian sausage for German brats and celebrate Oktoberfest with a crowd-pleasing comfort food classic.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 pound bratwurst or sweet Italian sausage, removed from the casing
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/3 cup tomato paste
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup corn flake crumbs
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly brush a 3-quart baking dish with oil.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook 1 minute less than package directions; drain, rinse under cold water and drain again. Transfer to a large bowl.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add the sausage and cook, breaking into smaller pieces, until browned and cooked through, 8-9 minutes; reserve.
- Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the basil and cook, stirring 15 seconds. Add the flour and cook, stirring, until it turns a very pale brown, 3 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low, whisk in the tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add the mozzarella, cheddar and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese and stir until melted, about 1 minute. Pour mixture over the macaroni, add the reserved sausage and stir well to coat. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking dish.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and combine with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and corn flake crumbs; mix well. Sprinkle the mixture evenly over the macaroni. Bake until to top is golden and the macaroni is hot, about 25-28 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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