February 14, 2012

Shells and Cheese with Roasted Broccoli

I must confess, my absolute favorite thing to eat as a child was macaroni and cheese.  That's the generation I grew up in-the Kraft Mac N' Cheese generation.  It is good, come on, admit it!  (in a boxed macaroni sorta' way)  It's been years though since I've made boxed macaroni-it just isn't worth it economically speaking and I've got to believe making it from scratch has to be better for you.  I've tried several lower fat recipes that just lacked that wonderful sharp flavor.  Then I wondered what it would be like if I added cream cheese with the cheddar.  The result was delicious, the kids loved it!  Once you've had a good, homemade mac n' cheese, there's no going back!  You could add any vegetable-I used broccoli and the roasting not only gave it a great flavor but also ensures it won't water down your pasta.  This would also be good baked in a casserole dish with a light coating of bread crumbs.  
6 cups medium seashell pasta
8 tablespoons butter
8 tablespoons flour
4 cups low fat (1%) milk
3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 (8 ounce) block light cream cheese
pinch of salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 large head broccoli
2 cloves garlic
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Line two 9x13 baking dishes with aluminum foil.  Wash broccoli and cut florets into smaller pieces, and cut stalk into 1/8-inch-thick slices.  Place in a large bowl.  Sprinkle with  4 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.  Mix well.  Spread the broccoli out evenly on the 2 baking dishes; peel garlic cloves and place one in each dish.  Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While the broccoli is roasting, cook pasta in boiling water until al dente, about 10 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  In a large pan, heat the butter over medium low heat until melted.  Add flour and stir with a whisk for 1-2 minutes.  Whisk in milk, salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Stir constantly with the whisk until mixture begins to thicken, 1-2 minutes.  Once thickened, remove from heat and add shredded cheddar and cream cheese.  Whisk until completely melted.  (If cheese sauce is too thick, just add a little milk.)  Add cooked shells and roasted broccoli (don't forget to remove the garlic clove).  Serves 10-12

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for visiting Cooking with the Cooks! We value your comments as we are constantly updating and improving our site. To make a public comment which, after approved may be open to the web, click "Post Comment". To make a private comment, suggestion, or a "Site Eyes*" comment, please click here to contact us. Thank You!
* We try to make sure all content is correct, but if you see an error, please let us know so we can fix it. Thank You.