Broccoli Mac & Cheese

One of my favorite things to do is add broccoli to any dish…

THE Broccoli Mac & Cheese

For all my fellow broccoli lovers out there, this one is for you.

Ingredients:

  • 2  heads of broccoli, cut into florets (little trees)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon salt + pepper each
  • 2 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 box whole wheat pasta (or regular, doesn’t matter)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 2 ½ tablespoons flour
  • 3 cups whole milk (2% and skim are fine), room temperature
  • Pinch of nutmeg and paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese (or any sharp tasting cheese)
  • Panko bread crumbs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F
  2. Place broccoli florets on a baking sheet. Coat with olive oil, crushed garlic cloves, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes or until you can cut through stems gently with a knife. Set aside.
  3. In the meantime, bring a pot of water to boil. Add generous amounts of salt and add past. Cook pasta according to the box directions.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat a pan to medium-low heat and melt 3 tbs of butter with 2 tsp of black pepper. Do not let brown, stir frequently. If browned, the pan is too hot.
  5. Add the flour to the pan and whisk. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes and continually stir to prevent burning.
  6. Gradually whisk in the 3 cups of milk. I usually add at most one cup at a time. Allow to simmer for 4-5 minutes after you’ve finished adding the milk.
  7. Add the paprika and nutmeg. Stir and wait until the mixture has thickened slightly to remove from heat.
  8. Remove the pan from the stove top to add the cheese. You can save a little to top the mac and cheese, but I usually don’t because it can burn. Stir in both the pasta and broccoli.
  9. Place the pasta and broccoli mixture into a medium sized baking pan. Top with melted butter and breadcrumbs for an extra crunch. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
  10. Enjoy!

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