Elevated Mac ‘N Cheese (GF option)
Who doesn’t love a silky, savory dish of baked mac ‘n cheese? I know I do, but I also try to sneak vegetables into things and always try to use up what I see lurking in my refrigerator. This managed to do both! If you follow a gluten free diet, just replace regular wheat pasta with a gluten free variety and skip the bread crumbs on top (or make your own from GF bread). I suppose if you’re vegetarian this is certainly calorie dense enough with enough protein to call this a main dish, but I like this as a side with a nice pork chop or steak.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1½ cups half-and-half (or whole milk)
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup shredded 4-cheese blend (see Note)
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces short pasta (penne or fusilli both good)
- 1 small head broccoli
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 cup garlic breadcrumbs, optional
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and salt it heavily. Add the pasta and set a time for 4 minutes less than the package cooking time. When the timer goes off, add the broccoli to the boiling pasta and cook for 2 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the butter, oil, and flour to a medium saucepan; whisk over medium high heat for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour taste. Slowly add the half-and-half while continually whisking until smooth. Wait for the mixture to come to a simmer, then add the cheese and pepper and continue to whisk until smooth.
- Combine the pasta with the cheese sauce and stir in scallions. Season to taste with salt. Pour into a greased casserole dish and sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top. The casserole may be refrigerated at this point until ready to bake.
- Bake, uncovered, at 375 degrees until bubbly and the breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 30 minutes if starting warm, about 45-60 minutes if the casserole has been chilled.