Fast and Fabulous~ under 30 minutes and you have dinner on the table. While pasta is often a pretty fast meal, it can be devoid of nutrition as much as imagination. I love to whip up a quick pasta, but do it in a way I can feel good about. This is a mac and cheese using a home made gorgonzola cheese sauce which, in and of itself, makes the mac and cheese something special. I have yet to find a brand of pre-made mac and cheese my kids will eat, cheese snobs that they are. However any combination of homemade sauce and they are all forks and smiles. The addition of broccoli not only gives the dish a nutritional kick, but really compliments the sauce. I really love broccoli with gorgonzola. This is a dish sure to please kids and adults alike, and with the addition of a hearty dinner salad and maybe a fruit for dessert, you can feed your family well in no time flat.
One of my secrets to a fast pasta with veggies, is to cook the veggies in with the pasta. It saves so much time, and I like to think some of the nutrients cook into the pasta. Might be wishful thinking, but it feel like it could be true. We use Tinkyada gluten free pasta, which has a cooking time of 11 minutes. The broccoli needs about 5 to be super tender for the kids, but not mushy for Stephen and I. I set a timer for 6 minutes, then add in the broccoli, then cook the remaining 5. Drain it all together and combine with the sauce. Easy as can be.
While the pasta is cooking whip up a quick bechamel. Heat the butter in the pan and add the flour. Equal parts. Cook out the raw flour flavor for a minute or so. Add in milk or cream, depending on how decadent you are feeling. It’s best if you have the cream slightly heated, it works in better. That said I have be know, on occasion, to just throw in cold milk. It’s never been a catastrophe. Add in the cheese in any combination you like. Gruyere is my most beloved, but this gorgonzola cheddar sauce was right up there.
Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of nutmeg, then serve over your pasta. Depending on how much pasta you make, you will likely have some sauce left. It will keep in an airtight container for about a week in the refrigerator. It makes a super yummy dipping sauce for vegetables of any kind, and maybe some oven fries to, if you like that sort of thing.
- 8 ounces of pasta
- 1 pound broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups cream or milk
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup grated parmesan
- 4-6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
- ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg, fresh grated is best
- salt and pepper to taste
- Boil the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- When the pasta has 5 minutes to go, add in the broccoli.
- Drain the pasta and broccoli together.
- Melt the butter and stir in the flour.
- Whisk to combine, then cook for 1 minute.
- Add the warm milk or cream and whisk.
- Wait for the milk to come back to the boil and thicken, turn the heat to low and add the cheese.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until melted and combined.
- Season to taste, and pour over the pasta.