Note to Self:

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cheesy Goodness

I made a fancy version of macaroni-and-cheese for dinner tonight...with four cheeses (smoked cheddar, asiago, Parmesan, and Romano), Italian sausage (made with chicken), sweet bell pepper, whole wheat pasta, and a few peas that I had in my freezer (the broccoli pictured was cooked separately).

This recipe is simply a guide...it can be altered to suit your personal taste (it is, for example, delicious with shrimp...with or without the sausage)....changing the cheese variety changes the flavor dramatically (its amazing what a little Gorgonzola will do). It's delicious too as a vegetarian version (substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth and loading it with whatever vegetables you prefer).

Now here's the funny thing: calling it a glorified macaroni-and-cheese makes it sound simple and humble (and it is), but remember the next time you're reading a restaurant menu and there is something on it with a name like Pasta con Quattro Formaggio (or aux Quatre Fromages), and it is listed at an exorbitant price...probably quattro the price it would cost you to make it yourself...you are really just paying for mac-and-cheese.

It is really very simple to make yourself...here's how to do it:

Slice then brown the sausage in olive oil, then remove it to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, add diced onion and pepper, then a clove of minced garlic. After the vegetables begin to brown add a few tablespoons of flour to make a roux.

Cook the roux for a couple minutes (while stirring) then add chicken broth, heat and stir until thick, then add some milk and do the same.

Add the sausage back to the pan and stir into the sauce, then add the four cheeses. While the sauce simmers (and the flavor of the sausage permeates it) cook the pasta al dente.

Stir in the peas, then the pasta...allow the pasta to finish cooking in the sauce (and absorb its flavor).

2 comments:

Suzy said...

This would be a hit in my house! And you make it seem so easy!!I'll have to whip up a batch soon.

Joe said...

Thanks Suzy!