- 8 oz. pasta
- 1 lg. crown broccoli
- 1/2 med onion
- 3 Tbsp butter
- 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2.5 cups milk
- 8 oz. (2 cups) sharp cheddar, shredded
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan
- 1 tsp hot sauce (optional)
- to taste salt and pepper
STEP 1: Get a large pot of salted water on to boil. Rinse the broccoli well and cut it into small florets.
STEP 2: The pasta and broccoli will be cooked in the same pot to save on dishes and time. When the water comes to a full boil, add the pasta. Set a timer for 8 minutes then add the broccoli. Cook the pasta and broccoli for two minutes more and then pour everything into a colander to drain. Set them aside until ready to add to the cheese sauce.
STEP 3: While the pasta and broccoli are doing their thing, you can begin the cheese sauce. Finely dice the onion and cook with butter over medium heat until softened (about 2-3 minutes).
STEP 4: Add the flour to the butter and onion. The flour and butter will form a paste like mixture (roux). Using a whisk, stir and cook the roux for 1-2 minutes more taking care not to let it scorch. This slightly cooks the flour preventing the cheese sauce from having an overly flour or paste like flavor.
STEP 5: Add the milk and whisk well to dissolve all of the flour clumps. Add freshly cracked black pepper at this point. Bring the mixture up to a simmer (you may need to raise the heat just slightly). When the sauce reaches a simmer, it will begin to thicken. When it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, it’s time to add the cheese.
STEP 6: Turn the burner off and whisk in the shredded cheese (and parmesan if using) until it is fully melted in. Give the cheese sauce a taste and add salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste.
STEP 7: Once you have the cheese sauce seasoned to your liking, stir in the cooked and drained pasta and broccoli. Serve hot and gooey!