Baked Macaroni and Cheddar

April 2008
Baked Macaroni and Cheddar

by 21 people

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This comfort-food classic received tons of requests for a healthy makeover. A layer of broccoli adds vitamins and fiber, but no one will ever know it's good for them.

Makes: 4 servings

Prep: 10 mins

Cook: 35 mins

Ingredients
  • 1 large bunch broccoli, cut into bite-size florets and stalks peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 pound whole wheat elbow pasta
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots (about 3)
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 3 1/2 cups low-fat milk
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 12 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
  • 6 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 3 tablespoons bread crumbs
Directions
  1. Fill a large pot with enough water to reach a depth of 2 inches and bring to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 1 minute; drain and rinse with cold water. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and add the broccoli in an even layer.
  2. Fill the same pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.
  3. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees . In the same pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the flour for 1 minute. Whisk in 1 cup milk until thickened, then whisk in 1 cup more. Whisk the cornstarch into the remaining 1 1/2 cups milk, then whisk the mixture into the pot. Simmer, whisking, until the sauce thickens, 2 to 3 minutes. Lower the heat and stir in the cheddar and 4 tablespoons parmesan. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in the pasta. Spoon the mixture over the broccoli.
  4. In a small heatproof bowl, combine the garlic and remaining 1/2 tablespoon butter; microwave at high power until melted, about 20 seconds. Stir in the bread crumbs, the remaining 2 tablespoons parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Discard the garlic, then sprinkle the bread crumb mixture on the pasta. Bake until golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
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