Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto

Recipe by: Jerry James Stone | Written January 23, 2013

As a kid growing up, I loved Mac n Cheese. What kid didn’t? And I still indulge in boxed Mac n Cheese from time to time. But homemade is way better and makes it rather easy to sneak in fresh veggies, like this homemade raw broccoli pesto.

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Ingredients

1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked as instructed
1 cup shredded Gruyère
½ cup shredded Cheddar
¾ cup shredded Parmesan
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
¼ cup bread crumbs
1 stalk of broccoli
3 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup chopped pine nuts
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 minced garlic clove

Total Time:

45 minutes

PREP
15 minutes
INACTIVE
COOK
30 minutes
Servings:
5 servings 
Recipe Type:
 
Diet:
Vegetarian
  1. Cut off the broccoli florets of 1 broccoli stalk and peel the stalk, cutting the stalk into 1/2″ pieces. 

     
  2. Add broccoli to the food processor and finely chop it, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. 

     
  3.  

     
  4. Lightly fold in 1/2 cup of pine nuts, chopped finely, 1 clove of garlic,minced, 1 tablespoon of lemon zest and 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, more if needed. 

     
  5. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil along with 1 table spoon of salt. Add 1 pound of fusilli and cook until al dente, about nine minutes for most pastas.  

    NOTE: FACT: In 1937, Kraft was the first to sell boxed macaroni and cheese, and it became an instant hit. They sold 9 million boxes that year! You can learn more fun facts about mac and cheese here.
     
  6. Create a roux by warming the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and adding 2 tablespoons of flour. Whisk well until all of the flour is incorporated. 

     
  7. Slowly add in 2 cups of milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add 1 cup of shredded Gruyere cheese, 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese and 3/4 cup of Parmesan cheese . 

     
  8. At this point, the sauce should be fairly thick. If you wish for it to be thicker, bring the cheese sauce to a slight boil and then remove it from the heat. If you want to thin it out a bit, add more milk. But do it sloooowly. 

     
  9. In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fusilli with the cheese sauce then transfer it to a baking dish. 

     
  10. Place heaping tablespoons of the broccoli pesto throughout the cheesy pasta. 

     
  11. Top with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheeses. 

    NOTE: Oh, I want to add that when I photographed this recipe I did not make enough cheese sauce. Oops! Don’t worry, the recipe below has been adjusted and it is much cheesier than shown.
     
  12. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce begins to boil and the topping is golden.Enjoy!  

     
  13.  

     

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Jerry James Stone

Food pornographer, full-time vegetarian, pointy beard enthusiast, and I say 'hella' too much. Founder and creator of Cooking Stoned.

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