Creamy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli Rabe
“Comfort” food in every sense of the word, this recipe updates classic mac and cheese with a blend of creamy cheddar and bold Broccoli Rabe. A perfect meal for the colder months, this decadent pasta can be prepared in under an hour and with fewer than 10 ingredients. Serve fresh out of the oven for a piping hot dish that stays true to its cheesy roots while incorporating a new dimension of Broccoli Rabe flavor and nutrition.
Recipe by Heather Hands
Heather is the author of Flourishing Foodie, a mostly vegetarian food blog. The blog was nominated for Saveur awards in 2014 and 2015 and named as a “Site We Love” in 2013. She is a registered dietitian who practices what she preaches, cooking fresh ingredients in their most natural form. Her work has been featured on Williams Sonoma, Glamour, and a number of other media outlets.
- 1/2 bunch fresh broccoli rabe
- 1 lb dry pasta
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 5 cups aged cheddar, grated
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
3. Remove the broccoli rabe from the water. Once cool enough to touch, chop into bite-sized pieces. Set to the side.
4. Fill the large pot with water and return to a boil. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente.
5. While you are waiting for the water to boil, add the butter to a medium saucepan on medium heat. Once sizzling, add the garlic and cook for one minute. Next, add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon. Slowly drizzle in the milk and whisk until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thick, approximately 10 minutes. Stir in the salt and pepper. Once thick and creamy, stir in the grated cheddar cheese.
6. Add the pasta noodles to a 12 x 8″ rectangular baking dish, then add the broccoli rabe and combine. Pour the cheese sauce over the noodles and stir. Finally, sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
7. Place the dish in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 30 minutes. Serve warm.
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