Heather has been after me for a while to share this wonderful recipe- I found it a few years ago on a friend’s site that specialized in healthy, light recipes. I think it originally came from Weight Watchers, so that means it is nice and balanced! What I love about it is that it omits the large amounts of butter and cheese typically found in mac-n-cheese, which cuts out a lot of fat and calories. It also uses less pasta by adding broccoli- and broccoli is great because it takes on the flavor of whatever sauce it is in. Yet it still has a delicious, light flavor. Note: For those who dislike broccoli, instead just use a whole 16 oz box of pasta. Enjoy!
14 oz uncooked pasta, gemelli or other twisted pasta
1/8 tsp table salt, for pasta cooking water
10 oz broccoli, small florets (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 tsp butter
1/3 cup(s) fresh bread crumbs
3 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 1/2 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
1/3 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup(s) onion(s), diced (optional)
1 cup(s) low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, sharp-variety
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a shallow 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions, adding broccoli to water 3 minutes before pasta will be done; drain pasta and broccoli and return to pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; add bread crumbs and cook, stirring often, until light golden, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer crumbs to a small bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese and set aside.
- In same saucepan (wipe clean if necessary), whisk together milk and flour until blended; add onion. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently. Reduce heat to low and simmer until thickened, about 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese, mustard, salt, pepper and remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Pour over cooked, drained pasta and broccoli; toss to mix and coat.
- Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle top evenly with bread crumbs. Bake until bubbly at edges, about 20 to 25 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces and serve. Yields 1 piece per serving.
Linked to Tidy Mom