Recipe: Pasta Broccoli Cheese Bake
This is a delicious vegetarian dish that I got from my mom last year. I don’t know where she picked it up or I’d give credit where credit is due. For now the credit goes to Mom for introducing me to this easy, healthy recipe.
I’m trying to incorporate more meatless dishes into our diet, or at least meals that don’t revolve around big hunks of meat, especially red meat. It’s cheaper and healthier!
I usually half this recipe for the two of us as it doesn’t heat up particularly well the next day (sadness). We usually have a little leftover anyway. Also, if you don’t have parmesan on hand, mozzarella is an adequate substitute. But use the parm if you can!
Pasta Broccoli Cheese Bake
1 pkg. fusilli pasta (1 lb. or 13 oz.)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp dried thyme
1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 (14 oz.) pkgs. frozen broccoli
3/4 cup parmesan cheese, shredded
slivered almonds (optional, but highly recommended)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pan of boiling water, add the olive oil and 2 tsp salt. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain. Cook broccoli in microwave for 6 minutes. Drain any water.
In a large saucepan, melt butter, then stir in flour and milk with whisk until mixture boils and thickens. Add cheddar cheese, salt, garlic, nutmeg, and thyme and blend.
Add cooked broccoli and drained pasta to cheese sauce. Mix well. Spoon into a 9×13-inch pan. Cover with parmesan and almonds and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.