Monday, April 4, 2011

Pass the trees, please!

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 

(A recipe from Whole Foods...where else!)

Salt for pasta water, plus 1/2 teaspoon more for cheese sauce
4 cups broccoli florets
8 ounces dry fusilli pasta
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
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*
Preheat the broiler. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.  
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...)


What's your favorite way to eat broccoli?
(You do eat your broccoli, right?  
Your mom would want you to!)


peter marie said...

What a cute name for a recipe! Looks delicious. I love broccoli anyway also, but unfortunately it's a veggie my family is not crazy about. My favorite is when it's just sauteed for a bit. Warm, bright green, and still lots of crunch.

Debbi said...

This looks so yummy! I am putting it on the menu for next week.

We usually just have plain steamed broccoli, but I also like to add it to scrambled eggs & I put it in grilled cheese (with tomatoes) for the boys.

Sarah said...

this looks PERFECT~! My girls LOVE mac & cheese and broccoli! I need to try this one!

une autre mère said...

Oh yum! I've gotta try this one soon! There's only one in our family who doesn't like broccoli, but she's good at eating the small portion we put on her plate anyways. I love my broccoli steamed, especially with cheese, but without is good too! Oh and sometimes if we're having mashed potatoes, I'll make the broccoli extra cheesy and mix it with the taters. Yum!

FilledToTheBrim - Kate said...

I LOVE broccoli but have the hardest time getting the girls to eat it. This looks like one they would definitely be up for trying! Thanks!

Amy said...

we cannot keep broccoli in this house for very long! it is the favorite of all 3 (including baby)! Just scored 27 FREE boxes of Ronzoni Smart Taste pasta last week so this will be a perfect new recipe to try!! :)

Thank you!

Amanda said...

I am SOOOOO making this! We love broccoli at our house too!

Hope you are feeling well my dear... so excited for you!!