Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sausage and Goat Cheese Macaroni

It's summer in Montreal and that seems to mean only one thing.  My will to cook is in a free-fall.  I'll happily throw together some hamburgers for friends at a barbecue, but cooking at home and using the oven?  I'd much rather be outside at the park or wandering Mont Royal.  Unfortunately, baked meals reheat better than stir-fry (at least in my opinion), so if I want quality meals for lunch, I need to bake ... or find a way to make salads more filling.

This recipe caught my eye a while ago and I'm finally getting around to it because I've been too busy and uninspired lately to find new recipes.  Ordinarily, I would've kept it vegetarian, but the idea of sausage entered my head today before an afternoon barbecue.  We ended up going the hamburger direction, which was delicious, but I still needed to have some sausage.  Granted, this is not just any sausage.  This is William Walters deer with red wine sausage and it's definitely worth the trip to Jean Talon or Mont Royal to try some.  If you want to keep this recipe vegetarian, the original calls for pine nuts and basil as well (1/2 cup each).  I skipped it because of the sausage, but I would add it back in.

I used a mixture of regular goat cheese and pepper flavoured, so I skipped on the extra pepper (note this was the crumbly goat cheese, not a wheel of brie!)  I skipped roasting peppers myself and just used a small jar of roasted peppers.

Sausage and Goat Cheese Macaroni (adapted from How to Cook Everything Vegetarian ... ironically enough)

2 1/2 cups milk
450g elbow pasta
2 sausages, casings removed
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup grated cheddar (I used aged medium)
1 cup goat cheese (I used a mixture of pepper and plain)
2 roasted red bell peppers, chopped
1/2 cup bread crumbs (a great use for leftover baguette)

1. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it.
2. Cook the milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.  When small bubbles appears, turn off the heat and let stand.
3. Pan fry the sausage and set aside.
4. Cook the pasta 1- 2 minutes short of package directions, drain, rinse, and set aside.
5. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt the butter.  Add the flour and cook, stirring until the mixture browns.
6. Slowly add the milk to the butter, stirring with a wire whisk.  Add milk slowly until mixture is thick and smooth.  Add the cheddar a little bit at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
7. Pour the sauce over the noodles, toss in the sausage, goat cheese, and peppers.  If desired, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
8. Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Top with bread crumbs.
9. Bake 15 minutes or until crumbs are browned.

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