Baked Mac n’ Cheese with Caramelized Onions and Duck Sausage
1 lb or 500 g rotini pasta
1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 red onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
cup cured duck sausage, diced*
1 cup milk
1 cup half & half
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch sea salt
1 cup brie cheese, rind removed, cubed
1 cup Cougar Gold®, grated
1/2 cup Fontina cheese, grated
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1 Tbsp melted butter
Pre-heat oven to 350°F and grease 3 quart casserole dish.
Parboil the rotini pasta in boiling salted water for 8 minutes and drain.
Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat, add the sliced onions and a pinch of sea salt to the pan and sauté for 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and sauté for another 35 minutes or until caramelized, stirring occasionally.
Render the sausage in a dry pan over medium heat for 10 minutes, until crispy bits form. Add milk, half-and-half, caramelized onions, sea salt and black pepper then bring to a boil. The second the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, add the Cougar Gold®, Fontina cheese, Brie and bay leaf and stir until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes.
In a bowl, mix the cooked rotini pasta with the cheese sauce and transfer into a baking dish. Top with the panko bread crumbs, drizzle with melted butter and broil for a few minutes or until the panko is golden brown and the edges crisp up.
*Other sausage (i.e. turkey sausage) may be substituted if you are unable to find duck sausage.