Skillet Macaroni, Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cheese

  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

6ounces grated Cheddar cheese
2ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1tablespoon unsalted butter
1small yellow onion, chopped
6ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
3tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
3cups low-fat or fat-free milk
1tablespoon Dijon mustard
1tablespoon minced tarragon leaves or 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8ounces dried, whole wheat pasta shells (not the large ones for stuffing), cooked and drained according to the package instructions
4cups broccoli florets and stems

Instructions

1. Mix the Cheddar and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a medium bowl. Set aside.

2. Melt the butter in a large, high-sided, oven-safe skillet. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their liquid, it comes to a simmer, and then reduces by about two-thirds, about 5 minutes.

4. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables in the skillet. Stir well to coat.

5. Whisk in the milk in a steady, thin stream until creamy. Then whisk in the mustard, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Continue whisking until the mixture starts to bubble and the liquid thickens, about 3 minutes.

6. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in three-quarters of the mixed cheeses until smooth. Then stir in the cooked pasta and the broccoli.

7. Preheat the broiler after setting the rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source. Meanwhile, sprinkle the remaining cheese over the ingredients in the skillet. Set the skillet on the rack and broil until light browned and bubbling, about 5 minutes. (If your skillet has a plastic or wooden handle, make sure it sticks outside the oven, out from under the broiler, so the handle doesn’t melt.) Cool for 5 to 10 minutes before dishing up.

note: Broccoli florets can be cut off the larger stalks. (Save the chopped stalks in the freezer to be used for stews.) Make sure the florets are small: an inch across at the largest. If larger, drop them into the pasta water to cook for 1 minute. Drain in a colander, set in the sink with the pasta and just dump both into the skillet in step 6.

From: Real Food Has Curves, by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough. Reprinted with permission from the publisher.