Friday, July 25, 2014

Italian Mac 'n Cheese

Oh, I'm sure this has a real name. Thing is, neither my mom nor myself knows it. We have always called this Italian Mac 'n Cheese or else "sausage spaghetti," I guess because she once dated an Italian guy and this was a side at all their meals and she forgot what they called it. My two-year-old calls it mac 'n cheese, too, because anything with red sauce is spaghetti and anything else is mac 'n cheese, though sometimes this one confuses her and it still gets called "gai-yee."

Call it what you will. This stuff is awesome and exactly how I wanted to kick off my cooking adventure. It's not anything new to me so I knew what I was doing to an extent. It's somewhat time-consuming, but not complicated. It would be a good start. Ignore that I'm basically shit at food photography, please. And that I didn't have my fonts downloaded because this computer is relatively new and also I'm lazy. You're not here for the pictures, right? You're here because of my winning personality.



Screw it. Here's the recipe.


  • Spaghetti. Lots of it. I don't measure.
  • Olive oil.
  • Dry grated parmesan cheese. Just the powdered stuff you buy at the store ready to sprinkle on top of things. Nothing fancy. You actually need it to be this way to properly melt with the noodles. You'll probably want to get a regular sized canister at least if you're just feeding a family of four to six. We used most of one because there's no such thing as too much cheese, duh.
  • Italian sausages, bratwurst, etc. I like Italians. My dad can't eat them, so we make him bratwursts, too. Make whatever is your favorite.

First thing's first. Get out the sausages and begin to fry them. Keep a close eye on them so they don't burn. I recommend covering them so the heat is more evenly distributed. Flip them routinely to cook them evenly. We're not going for super done, here. The goal is to get it so they can be cut without falling apart.

It does take a while, though.

If you're smart, you'll probably start boiling the water for your noodles soon. It took us thirty minutes to get the water to boil and we were stupid and waited until the sausages were essentially done. Also, don't waste five minutes looking for tongs to rotate the sausages while they're sitting in the pan with the heat on.

Not like I did that or anything. I was totally prepared.

Get them looking pretty and even and get them nice and firm. No one likes soft sausages. *wink, wink* *nudge, nudge* And other innuendos.

Mmm... Look at those firm, steamy sausages... Slice them up into even cylinders so they can cook the rest of the way through. While they're frying, make sure to give them a stir now and then to keep them from burning.

Once you've got the noodles boiled according to the box, drain them and put them in a big bowl. Drizzle olive oil over them and toss until they are well-coated. A little goes a long way. When you're satisfied with your oil level, add the parmesan, bit by bit as you toss it in. You don't want to add oil after starting the parmesan. It will gross up the cheese. ("Gross up" being the technical term, of course.)

And voila! I recommend stirring in the sausages with some of its grease for delicious flavor, but if you don't want to (or, like in our case, can't because of my dad), it's still delicious when you just top it with a scoop or two of sausages. Drizzle some of the grease over it for more flavor. Sprinkle more cheese on top if you'd like and enjoy!

This is super amazing and delicious and guys, you need to try it. Like right now.

Oh, and because I know there's some curiosity, yes, I nearly started a fire. I stirred the sausage too aggressively and two pieces jumped out and tried to catch the fire boiling the water for the noodles. No one was watching, thankfully. And nothing burned down and no one died.



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