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Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Mac
Broccoli has gotten a bad reputation in its long time on this planet Earth. Children and adults alike won’t eat it, and if you do eat it, be warned of the dreaded “broccoli gas.”
But broccoli isn’t such a bad guy.
Broccoli is, in fact, a wonderful vegetable full of vitamins and minerals that help keep you healthy. It’s full of Vitamin A, a whopping helping of Vitamin C, and one of the best providers of fiber in the vegetarian world.
Now I’ve admitted that I didn’t care for broccoli very much as a tyke, but as I’ve grown I’ve really learned to love this tiny bushy vegetable.
One of my favorite things to do is to try to figure out fun and delicious recipes in which I can incorporate broccoli. I’m lucky in that my boyfriend and I both love broccoli so we can find these recipes together. One of my favorites is broccoli drizzled with lemon juice, salt, and pepper and baked in the oven. It is really that easy and makes a great side dish.
Now side dishes are nice but broccoli really holds its own in a main dish also. Don’t be afraid to mix broccoli into your entrees, people! It really does pay off. Panera Bread cracked the code a long time ago with their broccoli mac and cheese, and they’ve definitely made a profit from it.
But constantly going to Panera Bread to get broccoli mac gets expensive and annoying. So thanks to budgetbytes.com, I’ve found a recipe that is not only delicious but easy on the wallet, too.
What You’ll Need
- 8 ounces of pasta shells
- 1 crown of broccoli OR 1 bag of broccoli florets already chopped
- 1/2 a yellow onion
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2.5 cups of milk
- 8 ounces of sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
First, bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook your broccoli and pasta together when the water comes to a full boil. When the broccoli and pasta are both cooked, drain and set aside.
While the pasta and broccoli cook, dice your onion and cook in a skillet with the butter over medium heat until softened.
Add your flour to the butter and onion so you form a roux (paste). Use a whisk and stir the roux for about 2 minutes.
Add your milk and whisk well. Make sure you get all of those pesky clumps out.
Add pepper and bring your mixture to a simmer. When the sauce reaches a simmer, it will start to thicken, and this is good! We want this to happen! The thicker the cheese sauce the better!
When the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, add the cheese but first turn off the burner. Then, whisk in the cheese and stir until fully melted in. When the cheese sauce tastes however you want it to taste, add to the broccoli and pasta. This pasta is deliciously satisfying and really gives you that broccoli fix while keeping your wallet full.