Baked Mac n Cheese with Broccoli Pesto
- 1 pound fusilli, cooked as instructed
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, more for topping
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, more for topping
- 3/4 cup parmesan, more for topping
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cups milk
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 stalk broccoli
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 clove garlic
- Pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- Cut off the broccoli florets and peel the stalk, cutting the stalk into 1/2" pieces.
- Add broccoli to the food processor and finely chop it, then transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Lightly fold in the chopped pine nuts, minced garlic, lemon zest and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Add the olive oil, more if needed.
- Bring four quarts of water to a boil along with 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the fusilli and cook until al dente, about 9 minutes for most pastas.
- Create a roux by warming the two tablespoons of butter in a large skillet and adding the flour. Whisk well until all of the flour is incorporated.
- Slowly add in the milk. Once the flour, butter and milk have combined, add the shredded cheese.
- At this point, the sauce should be fairly thick. If you want 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.
- In a large mixing bowl, toss the cooked fusilli with the cheese sauce then transfer it to a baking dish.
- Place heaping tablespoons of the broccoli pesto throughout the cheesy pasta.
- Top with the bread crumbs and the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes, until the cheese sauce begins to boil and the topping is golden.