This was such a great mac ‘n’ cheese casserole. I must say I was quite impressed with my cheese sauce-making. I’ve never made macaroni with my own sauce before–so, I guess I’ve never made macaroni that wasn’t boxed. Anyways, I’d tried once before (a different recipe) and the cheese sauce did not work out well. This recipe called for broccoli, which I liked. I like broccoli in dishes lately (but you couldn’t pay me to eat it raw haha).
I think when I make this again (because I will make it again) I will go with cheaper substitutes where the “gourmet” cheese is needed. Gouda, that’s not so bad–it was I think $4.00 for 8 oz. But that parmigiano reggiano is $9 for 8 oz. According the ever-knowledgeable internet, romano is a good substitute for parmigiano reggiano, as is regular parmesan. Monterey jack, muenster, and edam are good substitutes for gouda.
By the way, this recipe came from Rachael Ray–I saw her make this on her talk show probably over a year ago and immediately copied the recipe from her website. Here is the recipe as it is on the website now, but I’m copying down the recipe that was originally given, which I made.
4 cups broccolini florets, chopped broccoli rabe, or broccoli florets
1 lb whole wheat penne, twists, or elbows or brown rice pasta
2 T EVOO
3 T butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 small Fresno chili pepper (red) OR red cherry pepper, seeded and finely chopped
3 T flour
2.5 cups whole milk
1.5 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded aged gouda cheese
1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese, freshly shredded
few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Bring a few inches of water to a boil. Salt water and parboil broccoli, rabe, or broccolini 4-5 minutes. Drain and cold shock, then dry on kitchen towels.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta and undercook pasta by about 2 minutes. Preheat oven to 425F.
- Heat a saucepot over medium heat with EVOO and butter. Saute shallots, garlic, and chilies, 2-3 minutes then add flour and stir 1 minute. Whisk in milk and season sauce with salt and pepper, melt in cheddar and Gouda.
- Combine pasta with broccoli, broccolini, or rabe and the sauce, and transfer to a baking dish. Top with Parm cheese, sprinkle with fresh thyme and bake until brown and bubbly.