gastronome
July 15, 2007
broccoli mac and cheese gratin

Sorry, I got busy again, since the last time I posted. And I became a vegetarian! So I've been eating a lot more healthfully just by default, and yesterday I decided to whip up this cheesy-casserole-type-thing from the July 2007 Cooking Light so that I could have leftovers to last me all week. There's some nonsense about the broccoli in it being all good for me with its fiber, folate, and vitamin C. But really I just like it because it adds color. Also, I omitted the onion from my version.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook 4 cups uncooked medium seashell pasta (about 12 ounces) in boiling water 8 minutes; add 6 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound). Cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain.

Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add 2 garlic cloves, minced, to pan; cook 45 seconds. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl; set aside.

Add 1 teaspoon olive oil to pan; stir in 1/3 cup finely chopped onion. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3 cups 1% low-fat milk. Lightly spoon 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces) into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine 3/4 cup 1% low-fat milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to onion mixture. Return pan to medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese and 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese, 1 1/4 teaspoons salt, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper, and dash of ground nutmeg. Add pasta mixture to milk mixture, tossing gently to coat. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine garlic mixture and 2 (1-ounce) slices white bread in a food processor; pulse 15 times or until fine crumbs measure 1 cup. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until the top is brown. Yield: 8 servings.

Posted by astraea on July 15, 2007