Irish Bangers are up there with my favorite kinds of sausage. Whenever they are available at the grocery store, I always pick up a few packs.
In this rich macaroni bake, the bangers are combined with the pasta, spinach, onion, and slices of bread (which I found to be an interesting addition). The whole lot is then covered in a rich egg, cheese and cream mixture that bakes up into a thick, savory custard. So good.
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1 pound Irish bangers or sweet italian sausages, casings removed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound thawed frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
Salt and pepper
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan
6 slices white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed
Additional cooked bangers to slice and garnish plate, if you like
1. In a large saucepan of boiling water, cook the macaroni, stirring often, until al dente. Drain and let cool.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over medium heat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally until crumbly, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain.
3. Melt the butter in the pan, then add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until heated through, about 3 minutes. Stir in the cream cheese until blended; season with salt and pepper. Let cool.
4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, heavy cream, 2/3 cup Parmesan and 1/2 tsp each salt and pepper.
5. In a 9-inch square baking dish, evenly layer the macaroni and cover with the bread slices. Top with the spinach mixture in an even layer, then the sausage. Pour the egg mixture on top and sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan. (Cover and refrigerate overnight if desired).
6. Let the casserole stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375℉ and bake until casserole is browned and crusty on top and set in the center, about 20 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting.
Serves 6 (Recipe doubles easily. Bake in a 13 x 9 inch pan and increase cooking time by about 15 minutes.)
Recipe from Everyday With Rachael Ray Magazine
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