Cheesy Mac and Trees: The Remix
A new take on the original crowd favorite, Cheesy Mac and Trees, Rachael shared this recipe at the 2011 South Beach Wine & Food Festival Kidz Kitchen.
- 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta
- 2 1/2-3 cups broccolini stems or small broccoli florets (about 1 head)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 large shallot or 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and finely chopped or grated
- 4-5 stems fresh thyme, leaves finely chopped
- Black pepper
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- 1 cup extra-sharp yellow cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- Pre-heat the broiler.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente, according to the package directions. When the pasta has been cooking for a couple minutes, add the broccoli to the water and finish cooking everything together, about 8 minutes more.
- Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepot over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic and carrot and cook for 3-4 minutes, season with salt and pepper, then add the chopped thyme and stir to combine. Whisk in the flour, let cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the milk. Bring to a bubble, then let the sauce thicken so that it coats the back of a spoon, 8-10 minutes. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, to taste. With a wooden spoon, stir in the cheddar and Gruyère cheeses into the sauce in a figure-eight motion until melted.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli and toss with the sauce. Adjust the seasonings, to taste. Place in a large casserole dish and top with the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, then place under the broiler for 1-2 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown on top.