Homemade Macaroni and Cheese

This recipe is a healthier take on a classic comfort dish. Wholegrain and/or gluten free pastas work well in this recipe. A variety of greens can be delicious additions to this homemade macaroni and cheese including broccoli, asparagus, kale, spinach, or even zucchini.

Ingredients needed:

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound whole grain pasta of choice
1 cup green veggie of your choice (picture shows broccoli florets)
2 tablespoons shallot, finely chopped
2 tablespoons whole wheat or gluten free flour
3 cups organic milk
Salt and pepper
4 ounces cheese, shredded (can use cheddar, gruyere, or a combination)
1 ounce Parmesan, grated

Cooking instructions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 2 quart baking dish. Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta (reserving boiling water) and put in large bowl. Toss pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and set aside.

Add broccoli (or green veggie of choice) to boiling water and boil 3 minutes, or until just bright green. Immediately transfer to a bowl of cold water and drain.

Heat remaining olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, 2 – 3 minutes. Stir in flour and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes, or until smooth and bubbling. Whisk in milk and bring to a simmer, whisking constantly until mixture begins to thicken. Turn heat to low and simmer, whisking often and scraping the bottom of the pan with a rubber spatula, for 15 minutes, until mixture is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.

Add cheese sauce and broccoli to pasta and stir together until mixed. Add to prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 – 40 minutes until the top is slightly browned. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Photo and recipe by Michelle

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