Generally, when I get a craving for mac & cheese I go for baked. I came across a recipe in the Food Network Magazine for a stove top version that got my attention. I modified the recipe a bit and it is delicious, but I must stress this is hot & spicy! To tone it down, lessen the amount of Cajun seasoning and/or use a less spicy type of sausage.
Time: 30 minutes Serves: 4
- 12 oz. Conchiglie (shells) pasta - elbows ororecchiette work too
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz. andouille susage, diced (I used Trader Joe’s chicken variety)
- 2+ green onions, thinly sliced to equal about 1/2 cup
- 2+ celery stalks, diced to equal about 3/4 cup
- 1 tbsp cajun seasoning blend
- 2 tbsp AP flour
- 2 cups milk
- 8 oz sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes (I used Tillamook)
How to make it
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1 cup cooking water and drain pasta.
- Meanwhile, add olive oil to large skillet or medium saucepan – large enough to house all ingredients eventually – over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown.
- Add celery and cook, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes. Add scallions and cook an additional minute.
- Add Cajun seasoning and flour. Cook, stirring, for 2 more minutes. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue to whisk until sauce is smooth and begins to thicken, about 5 minutes.
- Add pasta and cheese and some cooking water, about 1/4 cup at a time until desired consistency is met. I used 1/2 cup.