When I wrote the first part of my "Pandemic Food" posts, some of you asked for the recipe of the Broccoli Mac'n Cheese.
I found this recipe about 30 years ago during a visit to England. It was one of many lovely recipes in a cookbook that was called "The Dairy Cookbook" if I remember correctly. I don't have that cookbook anymore - I got rid of a lot of things when we moved to the States - but this recipe had become such a favorite in my family that I don't need a recipe anymore.
You will need:
one package of Penne pasta
one head of broccoli, cut into florets only
one package of cubed Pancetta, about 4 oz (optional)
300 ml milk
25 g butter
25 g flour
one or two handfuls of shredded cheese (I use Swiss cheese and Gruyère from Trader Joe's)
paprika, salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Cook the Penne pasta in boiling salted water according to directions on the package. For the last 4-5 minutes add the broccoli florets. Drain and put in an ovenproof dish. If you want to add the cubed pancetta, you will do it now.
Bring the milk with the butter and the flour to a boil, stirring often. Let the milk boil for a minute, then add paprika (I use quite a lot of that, but perhaps start out with a teaspoon or two), freshly ground pepper and a little bit of salt (remember that cheese already contains quite some salt). Now it's time to add the cheese - I'm usually quite generous with it. It really depends how you like it best. Pour the sauce over the pasta and broccoli. Top it off with some breadcrumbs.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
When the top is golden brown, it's time to bring the broccoli man'n cheese to the table! Be careful - it will be quite hot - better let it cool slightly for five minutes or so.
If you ever make it, let me know. I'm also interested if you do any variations.