Swap Italian sausage for German brats and celebrate Oktoberfest with a crowd-pleasing comfort food classic.
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 1 pound 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
- Yield: 8-10 Servings
- Course: Entrée
- Preheat the oven to 350F. 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.
To make this dish in advance, complete through step 5 (with the exception of baking), cool, wrap in plastic wrap and foil, then freeze. When you’re ready to reheat, it’s best to let the dish thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Once thaw, unwrap, cover with a new layer of tin foil and bake for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to crisp the top.