Macaroni, Cheese, and a lot of Broccoli

The small boy in my house is fickle. He’ll like something one day and purse his lips and refuse to eat it the next day. It’s my job, as a mother, therefore to get better at packing each meal with good stuff and making them count. (Right?) This baked pasta dish hides 3 pounds of broccoli.

1 lb. pasta (I’ve been loving the organic boxed pasta at Whole Foods for quick meals.)
6-8 oz. medium white cheese, grated
3 lbs. broccoli
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. milk
1 1/2 c. chicken stock (or veggie stock, if you prefer)

  1. Boil pasta for three minutes less than the recommended time. (It will finish cooking in the oven.) Set aside.
  2. Wash and chop broccoli coarsely. Steam over boiling water for 5 minutes. Puree in a food processor until smooth. If needed, add a splash of milk to make blending easier.
  3. In another pan, melt butter, then whisk in milk and salt. Heat until warm over medium. Over the heat, add grated cheese and whisk until smooth. Whisk in broccoli mixture.
  4. Toss this sauce with the pasta and then spread it into a 9X13 pan.
  5. Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes until it’s toasty and brown on top.

Dedicated to all first graders (or anyone, really,) who think ‘macaroni and trees’ is a funny joke.

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