Cheesy Mac and Trees

Cheesy Mac and Trees
  • 6Servings


  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain rotini or penne rigate pasta
  • 1 large head broccoli, trimmed and cut into small florets
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 1/2 cups shredded yellow extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives or 2 scallions, thinly sliced (optional)


Preheat the broiler. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt it, add the pasta and cook until al dente (about 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand). When the pasta has been cooking for a couple of minutes, add the broccoli to the water and finish cooking everything together. Drain and return to the pot. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk and stock. Cook until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in 2 cups cheese and season with salt and pepper. Toss the pasta and broccoli with the sauce. Adjust the seasonings to taste. Place in a large casserole dish and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese and the chives or scallions, if using. Place under the broiler until bubbling and browned.