We LOVE broccoli at our house!
raw or steamed
cheesy or saucy
It's always eaten!
This recipe was the perfect comfort food for a chilly, rainy spring day.
It's a very easy, quick cooking recipe, too!
(So quick it was done before Cody got home from work and and had to stay warm in the oven while the rest of us drooled over the yummy, bubbly, cheesy goodness!)
Macaroni and Trees
4 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces dry fusilli pasta
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk
Pinch black pepper
Pinch cayenne pepper (optional--but I used a BIG pinch!)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese*
Add broccoli, return to a boil and cook, uncovered, until al dente, about 4 minutes. Remove broccoli with a slotted spoon, leaving the water in the pot. (I did not cook the broccoli like suggested. We like our broccoli more "firm" so I just added it with the cheese sauce in the baking dish.)
Boil the pasta in the water until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook gently for about a minute. Whisk in the milk, salt, pepper and cayenne. Bring milk mixture to a simmer, reduce the heat, and cook for about 5 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir in two thirds of the cheese until it has melted. Remove saucepan from heat and set aside.
In 2-quart oven-proof dish, combine the pasta with 2/3 of the cheese sauce. Add the broccoli to the remaining cheese sauce in the saucepan.
Encircle the pasta in the dish with the broccoli. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and broil for about 3 minutes, until cheese begins to bubble. (or keep warm at 170 degrees until your husband finally gets home from work...)