Blanched broccoli boosts the nutritional profile of a familiar cheesy pasta main dish. Besides lending color to the recipe, the green vegetable adds fiber, folate, and vitamin C.
4 cups uncooked medium seashell pasta (about 12 ounces)
6 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound)
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 3/4 cups 1% low-fat milk, divided
1/3 cup all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated Asiago cheese
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
Dash of ground nutmeg
2 (1-ounce) slices white bread
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes; add broccoli. Cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done. Drain.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic to pan; cook 45 seconds. Transfer garlic mixture to a small bowl; set aside.
Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil to pan; stir in onion. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in 3 cups milk. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine the remaining 3/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add flour mixture to onion mixture. Return pan to medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Remove from heat; stir in the cheeses, salt, black pepper, red pepper, and nutmeg. Add pasta mixture to milk mixture, tossing gently to coat. Pour mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Combine garlic mixture and bread in a food processor; pulse 15 times or until fine crumbs measure 1 cup. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over pasta mixture. Bake at 400° for 18 minutes or until the top is brown.