Skillet Macaroni, Broccoli, Mushrooms and Cheese
- Yield: 4 servings
- 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
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.