15.11.2019
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24.10.2019

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Tasty broccoli, beloved pasta, creamy cheesy bechamel sauce. All baked until golden. Comfort food at its best.

Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A plate with a piece of cheese on it, a jug of milk, a deep plate with uncooked pasta, another deep plate with broccoli florets and a small plate with mustard and spices on it. All are placed on a wooden surface.

Broccoli or cauliflower cheese was a staple in our house when I was growing up. Mrs. D. used to make one or the other fairly often, especially cauliflower. It’s definitely one of the best ways to enjoy these vegetables.

Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: two hands holding a cheese grater and a piece of cheese against it. Around the cheese are a packet of pasta, a jug of milk and a plate with mustard and spices on it.

Actually, anything smothered in a cheesy bechamel sauce wins a place on my favourite foods list. When I was little I would always pick the veggies and eat them first, leaving the best for last (yes, the creamy cheesy bits). Ok full disclosure, I still do it. I am one of those people. Those who keep their favourite bits and enjoy them at the end, after having got the not-so-favourite parts out of the way. What about you? Do you dive in and gobble up the good bits or do you push them to the side in order to savor them a tad longer?

Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: A baking dish full of cooked golden broccoli pasta bake. Next to it is a bunched up linen napkin.

Whichever type you are, you need to try this dish. And if you have already, why not make it again? It’s delicious and keeps well for a few days making great leftovers. Oh and don’t let the smallish amount of pasta fool you. It’s super filling so these quantities are good for about 6 servings.

Broccoli Cheese Pasta Bake www.thefoodiecorner.gr Photo description: In the top right corner is a baking dish with cooked broccoli pasta bake, a few pieces of which are missing. A large serving spoon rests in the dish. To the bottom of the dish are two plates each with a piece of pasta bake on it.

Ingredients

350 gr rigatoni pasta (or other short pasta)

500 gr broccoli cut into medium florets

2 tsp olive oil

100 gr butter or margarine

100 gr flour

1 litre milk (I use organic, you could use grass fed if you can find it)

1 Tbs prepared mustard, mild

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp white pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

100 gr kasseri cheese, grated (or other melty cheese you like)

100 gr pecorino cheese, grated

2 small rusks or 3 melba toasts, processed into crumbs (you can use 2 Tbs panko instead)

Step 1

Preheat oven to 160C fan assisted (180C conventional).

Step 2

Put the pasta on to boil in a large saucepan, according to package instructions. Around halfway through cooking time (depending on how soft you like it) add the broccoli to the boiling water. Let it all cook together until al dente. Drain and return the pasta and broccoli to the pan. Drizzle in the olive oil and toss well to coat. Set aside.

Step 3

In a medium sized saucepan melt the butter or marge over high heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until you get a golden paste. Keep stirring for about 1 ½ minutes.

Step 4

Lower the heat to medium/high and exchange your spoon for a whisk. Add half the milk while whisking quickly and continuously until the mixture is smooth and thick (about 1-2 minutes). Watch it doesn’t go lumpy. Add the rest of the milk while whisking vigorously. When you’re sure there are no lumps switch back to using the wooden spoon. Stir continuously until the sauce thickens. It’s ready as soon as you start to see the bottom of the pan while stirring (9-10 minutes). Remove from the heat.

Step 5

Add the mustard, salt, white pepper and garlic powder to the bechamel. Stir in half the kasseri cheese and half the pecorino too.

Step 6

Pour the sauce into the pan with the pasta and broccoli and stir gently to coat. Transfer mixture to a medium sized baking dish (about 26 x 33cm). Mix the rusk crumbs with the rest of the cheeses and sprinkle over the top of the pasta.

Step 7

Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden and a little bubbly at the sides. Serve with a fresh green salad.

Note
I always use the broccoli stems too. I just peel off any rough bits and then cut them into slightly smaller pieces than the florets so they cook in the same time.

The Greek version of this post is sponsored, thus you can see the pasta packaging in one of the photos. All opinions are my own.

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