This was last night’s dinner and it was really good. It comes from Rachael Ray’s cookbook “365: No Repeats.” The title pretty much sums up the recipe. I really recommend this one if you have trouble getting your kids, husband or even yourself to eat vegetables. I’ll be honest, I don’t really like broccoli. It’s okay, but I think it smells like gym socks when it’s cooking. This was a great way to eat it. Also, you can cook the broccoli any way you want for this. The recipe calls for blanching it in the water you use to cook the pasta. I sauteed it because I just plain don’t like blanched broccoli. I’ll write the recipe the way I did it, but it would work to roast the broccoli in the oven, or to steam it in a basket too. Enjoy!!
1 pound elbow macaroni
1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tbs extra-virgin olive oil (evoo)
2 tbs unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 cups milk
3 cups grated yellow sharp Cheddar cheese (I used an extra-sharp Cheddar from Wisconsin – so good!)
1 tbs Dijon mustard
Salt and black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, salt generously, put the pasta in, and cook according to package directions. Drain well.
In a large saute pan, heat a drizzle of EVOO. Add the crushed red pepper flakes for one minute, then the broccoli. Saute until it’s cooked to your desired doneness. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, heat over medium heat with 1 tbs EVOO and the butter. Add onion once the butter melts, and saute until softened. Then add the flour and whisk for about 1 minute. Add the cayenne and paprika, then the chicken stock and milk. Bring it up to a bubble, then lower the heat to let it simmer until thickened a bit. Whisk to avoid burning. Add the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese and take off the heat. Let the cheese melt (this happens very quickly).
Drain the pasta, add it to the broccoli, then pour the cheese sauce over all. Toss together and serve hot!