I've never made mac and cheese before. In organizing my recipe file a few weeks back I cam across a recipe for cheesy baked shells and broccoli. Since it's wicked cold in the Emerald City these days and it was a "quick" meal, I decided to try it Thursday night. Now I veered off the recipe's path a bit. I used an entire box of whole wheat ziti instead of shells and used skim milk rather than whole (we all know that Real Simple is trying to give me a heart attack).
Here is the original recipe from the October 2008 issue of Real Simple:
3/4 pound medium pasta shells
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
2 cups grated Cheddar
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
kosher salt and pepper
1 16-ounce package frozen broccoli florets
1. Heat broiler.
2. Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the nutmeg, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄4 teaspoon pepper.
4. Add the pasta and broccoli and toss to combine. Transfer to a broiler proof 8-inch square or another 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1⁄2 cup of cheese. Broil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
1. In true Snowgoose home cooking tradition, we fried three strips of bacon and crumbled them in the pasta during step 4.
2. If we make it again (not very likely) we'd add more cheese. It wasn't cheesy enough for us.
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