Baked Pasta Casserole with Broccoli

If your kids have trouble eating their vegetables, there's no better vehicle than this comforting cheesy pasta casserole. You can substitute cauliflower for broccoli and swap the cheddar for any of your favorite cheeses.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
  • 1 pound short pasta (fusilli, shells or elbows)
  • 4 cups finely chopped broccoli florets (from 1 small head broccoli)
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cups coarsely grated mild white cheddar cheese

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 400&#176; and butter a shallow 9-by-13-inch ceramic baking dish.

  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, following the package directions, until 4 minutes shy of al dente. Add the broccoli and cook an additional minute. Drain in a colander.

  3. Warm the milk in the microwave or in a saucepan set over medium-low heat.

  4. In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the warm milk and whisk gently over medium heat until the mixture has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.

  5. Stir in the salt, pepper flakes, mustard and cheese. Add the pasta-broccoli mixture and toss to combine. Transfer to the prepared dish. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender and lightly browned.

Contributed By Photo © Phoebe Lapine Published October 2012

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