As a kid growing up, I loved Mac n Cheese. What kid didn’t? And while I still indulge in boxed Mac n Cheese from time to time, I don’t like it as much as I used to. It’s just so heavily processed, ya know?
But then I made it myself! That changed everything. I discovered how Mac n Cheese was not only wonderful again, but could be this amazing vehicle for things I rarely ate. Or didn’t like!
Seriously, you can sneak almost anything into it! However, I do love broccoli and with it being in season right now, it seemed like a good place to start. Enjoy!
Oh, I want to add that when I photographed this recipe I did not make enough cheese sauce. Oops! Don’t worry, the recipe below has been adjusted and it is much cheesier than shown.
1. Cut off the broccoli florets of 1 broccoli stalk and peel the stalk, cutting the stalk into 1/2″ pieces.
2. Add broccoli to the food processor and finely chop it, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Lightly fold in 1/2 cup of pine nuts, chopped finely, 1 clove of garlic,minced, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, more if needed.
4. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil along with 1 table spoon of salt. Add 1 pound of fusilli and cook until al dente, about nine minutes for most pastas.
5. Create a roux by warming the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and adding 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk well until all of the flour is incorporated.
6. Slowly add in 2 cups of milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese .
7. At this point, the sauce should be fairly thick. If you wish for it to be thicker, bring the cheese sauce to a slight boil and then remove it from the heat. If you want to thin it out a bit, add more milk. But do it sloooowly.
8. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fusilli with the cheese sauce then transfer it to a baking dish.
9. Place heaping tablespoons of the broccoli pesto throughout the cheesy pasta.
10. Top with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheeses.
11. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce begins to boil and the topping is golden.
Hi, I’m Jerry James Stone and welcome to my food blog.
My recipes are vegetarian, just like me. Some are even vegan. I like to keep things pretty simple, using just a few ingredients. So, you'll be cooking in no time.
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