Thursday, May 8, 2008

Whole Wheat Rotini and Cheese (with Broccoli)

It takes a bit longer to make homemade mac-n-cheese, but it's well worth it. The boxed stuff is super high in sodium and it doesn't even taste that great. Although the box is simple to make and in a pinch can definitely get the kids fed when time is an issue - when I've got a few extra minutes I like to make it from scratch.

Usually I use regular pasta (any kind I have on hand) but I recently decided to give whole wheat pasta a go with my family (or more specifically a whole wheat pasta blend.) The blend is a bit easier to eat and while the taste is still different from regular pasta, it's something that I think the family can get used to and then will eventually never notice the difference.

For this recipe you will need: 3/4 pound whole wheat pasta, 1 tablespoon flour, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 cup milk, 3/4 cup stock, 2 cups broccoli florets, 4 oz shredded cheddar cheese, 3 slices american cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

Cook pasta according to directions on box. Four minutes before the pasta is done, you will add the broccoli florets to the pasta pot, so get the broccoli washed and ready to go. I like to set a timer for the pasta cooking time less four minutes so that I don't forget.

In a separate medium size pot, melt butter and whisk in flour to make a rue. Whisk in the milk and stock and bring to a slow boil and reduce heat. Continue stirring until thickened. Add the cheddar and whisk until melted and well combined. Add the american cheese, one slice at a time, until melted and combined. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

Drain pasta and broccoli and add to large bowl. Pour cheese sauce over and mix well to combine. Serve immediately. Note: add a splash of milk or stock when reheating leftovers.

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