One thing I’ve consistently craved throughout my pregnancy is macaroni and cheese. Early on, when I was too ill to cook much, I’d just buy it from Mama J’s, Q Barbeque or — don’t judge — Lee’s Chicken (which is dangerously located right across the street from my work). But now that I feel like a person again, I decided to try a no-boil mac and cheese technique that Bon Appetit tweeted about a few weeks ago.
To make it marginally healthier, I decided to leave off the panko topping and replace half the noodles with broccoli florets. The creamy broccoli-cheese-soup-meets-mac-and-cheese texture was thoroughly satisfying. I was mystified by how perfectly the noodles cooked in the covered casserole dish, and it sure was nice not having to clean a big pot at the end.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
3 cups water
1 tablespoon salt, plus more
1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus more
1/2 pound elbow macaroni
1/2 pound chopped broccoli florets
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat the oven to 400°. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk constantly for 1 minute; then whisk in the milk and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and whisk often until a very thin, glossy sauce forms, about 10 minutes. Stir in 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper and remove the sauce from the heat.
Toss the pasta, broccoli and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese in a casserole dish. Pour in the sauce so that the pasta and broccoli are submerged (do not stir) and season with additional salt and pepper. Cover with foil and bake until the pasta is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle on the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Bake uncovered until the pasta is tender, the edges are bubbling and the top is golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.
I actually broiled my casserole for the last two minutes to get the top nice and golden brown.broccoli, casserole, cheese, dinner, lunch, macaroni, recipe, side dish
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