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
- 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
- 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.
- Fill the same pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente; drain.
- 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.
- 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.