Broccoli Melt Mac and Cheese

Ingredient List

  • 1 pound cavatappi, or spiral noodle of choice
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, grated
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon sherry or apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 12 ounces (about 4 cups) Gruyère cheese, divided
  • 4 ounces (about 1 1/4 cups) sharp white cheddar cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces (about 1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • 4 Broccoli Melt sausages (1, 12 ounce package), sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish
  • Crushed red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)

Directions

Make the mac and cheese. Preheat oven to 400°F with a rack in the upper half of your oven (with enough space for your Dutch oven or braiser to fit).   
 
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Cook pasta for 8-10 minutes, until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.
 
In a large Dutch oven or braiser over medium heat, melt butter. Sweat onions until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add flour and cook to a blonde roux, about 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, starting a few drops at a time and then increasing to more generous pours after adding 1 cup, while whisking constantly. Cool over low heat until mixture thickens, becoming a Béchamel sauce, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar, cayenne, and nutmeg. Remove Béchamel from heat and gradually add 3 cups Gruyère, cheddar, fontina, and Parmesan, mixing until cheese is fully melted. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce (if desired).
 
Mix cooked pasta and sausage slices into Béchamel. Bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and top with remaining 1 cup shredded Gruyère. Turn oven to a high broil and broil until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Top with fresh parsley, red pepper flakes and serve immediately.

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