Sausage and 3-Cheese Mac and Cheese

  • 1 box short pasta (anything like elbows, cavatappi or pipette will do)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 3/4 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups milk or half-and-half
  • A pinch of nutmeg (a few passes on the grater)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated Asiago cheese
  • 2 cups grated provolone cheese
  • 2 cups stuffing bread crumbs, recommended brand Pepperidge Farms
  • 1/2 stick, 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, a couple of handfuls

Preheat broiler on high.

Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, adds some salt and the pasta. Cook the pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drained and reserved.

While the water is coming up to a boil to cook the pasta, heat a large skillet over medium high heat with 2 turns of the pan of EVOO, about 2 tablespoons. Add the sausage and using the back of a wood spoon break it up it to little pieces as it starts to cook. Cook sausage until brown about 4-5 minutes. Remove sausage from the skillet and drain off all but about 3 tablespoons of the fat. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onion and garlic, and season with a little salt and a lot of pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3-4 minutes or until the onions start to get soft. Sprinkle onions with the flour and continue to cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken stock and milk, bring up to a simmer and season it with the nutmeg. Add the Asiago and provolone cheese, and stir until melted.

Add the drained pasta and cooked sausage to the cheese sauce. Stir to combine, then transfer to a baking dish. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, melted butter, Parmigiano and chopped parsley. Toss to combine then sprinkle over the mac and cheese in the baking dish. Transfer baking dish to the broiler and broil until the bread topping is nice and brown.