Monday, January 22, 2007

Fusilli with Broccoli & Garlic Cheese Sauce

Although I love cheese, most of the mac 'n cheese dishes I've eaten have been disappointing. They're cheesiness always seems diluted to something mild and milky. And, I consider it an indulgent dish as far as those fat calories go.

However, I was recently inspired by cookiecrumb's Little Pots of Cheesy Redemption to reconsider the pasta with cheese sauce dish. So when I had that wintry craving for something comforting and cheesy, and discovered my only block of tofu had somehow become half frozen in my fridge (I love tofu & veg. with cheese sauce), I recognized my opportunity.

The sauce was incredibly cheesy and had just the right bite of garlic. It was far from low fat, but I did use vegetable broth in place of some of the milk, which was actually fantastic. I'd have added a little white wine if I'd had some. It was much thinner that my typical cheese sauces and swirled around the fusilli shape wonderfully. The little broccoli florettes were the perfect contrast, with their juicy freshness and mouthy crunch. I sprinkled cayenne pepper on mine.

This is quick and easy to make, requires only basic ingredients, while being quite elegant. Keep this dish in mind for a spontaneous dinner with friends.

Fusilli with Broccoli & Garlic Cheese Sauce

8 oz fusilli pasta
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable broth
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
large head of broccoli, cut into little florettes

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook per directions (10-12 mins). Add the broccoli florettes to the pasta for the last 2-3 minutes of cooking.

In a small saucepan (one with rounded sides is best), melt the butter over med. low heat. Add 1/3 minced garlic to the butter, then add it the flour and stir continuously for 1-2 minutes until frothy. Add the milk and turn up the heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to thicken (4-5 minutes) Add the vegetable broth and cook an additional 2 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the cheddar and remaining garlic. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth.

Drain the pasta and broccoli and serve in a bowl. Spoon the cheese sauce over the pasta and serve. Cayenne is a wonderful addition!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, that's just ... sigh ... Food! Ooh, plus all that garlic.
Pardon me, but are you just getting better and better by the day?

10:56 AM  
Blogger sher said...

I think that's just about perfect--pasta, cheesy and loaded with broccoli! Great photo too!

12:28 PM  
Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Garlic, cheese...umm I need broccoli. Yes I need broccoli.
Very good Catherine, I have my side dish for tonight.

12:28 PM  
Blogger Lydia said...

Broccoli is one of those foods that I don't love, but know I should eat more often. Anything with cheese and pasta -- now, that's another story! Must try this recipe. Thanks.

12:37 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

This is a great dish. I love the Cayenne as a bit of a twist. Thanks!

6:32 PM  
Blogger Allison said...

Mmmmm that looks delicious! I am going to have to try that next week!

5:01 PM  

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