Jay loves broccoli. So much it frightens me. He orders a side of broccoli EVERYWHERE we go. Broccoli in any form, cooked any way, with garlic, with marinara, with cheese, etc. Broccoli with a side of air. Literally, any kind. I can take it or leave it, personally. I won’t specifically order it, and I rarely eat it, but at times it winds up on my plate and I eat it and remember that its not bad at all. Lately, however, I’ve been really into broccoli. I mean really into it.
This recipe was that kinda deal. But not really, because I knew I was going to eat it, it wasn’t an accident. I just figured maybe it was time for me to get over my broccoli issues and just admit that I love it. This is another Real Simple recipe, I just changed it up a bit and made it cheesier.
CHEESY BAKED SHELLS WITH BROCCOLI
- 1 pound medium pasta shells
- 1 ½ tablespoons butter
- 2 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3 cups sharp Cheddar (or Gruýere, if you prefer)
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 16-ounce bag frozen broccoli florets, thawed
- Heat broiler. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add 2 ½ cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the nutmeg, ¾ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
- Add the pasta and broccoli and toss to combine. Transfer to a broilerproof 8-inch square or another 1 ½-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Broil until golden, 3 to 4 minutes.
Yummy, yummy in my tummy.
There was a period of a few weeks where Jay had this full-size picture as the background on his computer… no joke
This dish takes no time at all, and it may not be gourmet, but unless you have a lot of time or a personal chef you don’t eat gourmet every night. Who even has the time to do that!? Between work and school and other commitments- you need simple, filling meals. And this is definitely both. And if you’re looking for a regular mac-n-cheese recipe, this one is amazing and is my absolute favorite.