No Bake Kielbasa Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound kielbasa, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons butter and 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 3 cups milk- At room temperature is best
  • 1/2 teaspoon creole seasoning (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
  • 3 cups shredded, extra sharp cheddar
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 pound shell or cavatappi pasta, cooked and drained

 

Directions:

Add two tablespoons of butter to a dutch oven or pan with fairly tall sides and let it get hot over medium heat.

Add the kielbasa and cook until browned, about 7 minutes.

While the kielbasa is cooking, cook your pasta according to the directions on the package and set it aside.

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Remove the kielbasa from the pan and set aside.  Using the same pan, add the remaining butter, onions and garlic.  Let this cook for about 3 minutes.  Add the flour and whisk it into the butter mixture until incorporated.  Let this cook for several minutes, or until it begins to turn golden-brown.

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Add the milk to the pan slowly, mixing between each addition until the mixture is smooth.  Let this cook until it begins to thicken, usually about 10 minutes.  It is ready when it coats the back of a spoon.

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At this stage you can add your seasonings.  I really like the subtle kick that the creole seasoning adds and the complexity the nutmeg contributes, but the mac and cheese will be delicious without them.  You could also add a little mustard powder for a different kind of kick.  I have done it both ways in the past with equally good results.

Add the shredded cheese in gradually, whisking in and melting it between each addition.

Add the cooked pasta and kielbasa to the pan and stir to mix.  It’s a good idea to taste it again at this stage to see if it needs any more seasonings, particularly salt and pepper.

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