Spicy Mac and Three Cheeses with Broccoli
Broccoli and whole wheat pasta add nutrients to this vegetarian-friendly three-cheese mac ‘n cheese spiked with hot pepper.
- 4 cups broccolini florets, chopped broccoli rabe or broccoli florets
- 1 pound whole wheat penne, twists or elbows or brown rice pasta
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 shallots, very finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small Fresno chili pepper or red cherry pepper, seeded and very finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 cup aged Gouda cheese, shredded
- 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly shredded
- A few sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped
- Bring a few inches of water to a boil. Salt the water and parboil the broccolini, rabe or broccoli for 4-5 minutes. Drain and cold shock, then dry on kitchen towels.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and undercook the pasta by about 2 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
- Heat a saucepot over medium heat with the EVOO and butter. Sauté the shallots, garlic and chili pepper for 2-3 minutes, then add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season the sauce with salt and pepper; melt in the cheddar and Gouda.
- Combine the pasta with the broccolini, rabe or broccoli and the sauce and transfer to a baking dish. Top with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sprinkle with fresh thyme and bake until brown and bubbly.