Sunday, March 9, 2008

#1 Mac-and-Cheese with Broccoli

It was pretty spicy, very cheesy and not too thick and creamy. Yum!
4 servings

coarse salt
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 1/2 c broccoli florets
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 T all-purpose flour
1/2 t cayenne
1 t paprika
3 c whole milk
1 c chicken broth
3 c grated sharp yellow Cheddar
1 T Dijon mustard
freshly gound black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt to season the cooking water, then add the pasta. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the broccoli adn cook for 3 minutes more or until the pasta is cooked al dente and the florets are just tender. Drain well and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat a medium sauce pot over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil and heat with the butter until it melts. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to sweat them out and turn the juices sweet. Raise the heat a bit, then whisk in the flour, cayenne, and paprika. Whisk together until the roux boils up, then cook for 1 minute more. Whisk in the milk and stock and raise the heat a bit higher to bring the sauce to a quick boil. Once it bubbles, drop the heat back to a simmer and cook until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the cheese to the thickened sauce and stir to melt it, a minute or so. Stir in the mustard and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Pour over the broccoli and cooked pasta and toss to combine. Adjust the seasonings and serve.

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