Fresh, steamed broccoli is stirred into this creamy macaroni and cheese. If you want to skip preparing and cooking the broccoli, replace it with frozen broccoli florets. Thaw and heat the frozen broccoli according to package directions, then stir into the mac and cheese as directed.
- 3 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 2 cups (about 8 ounces) gluten-free elbow macaroni
- 2 teaspoons Kosher salt, plus more to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or put through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons white rice flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 cup half-and-half
- 8 ounces cheddar cheese, mild, sharp or extra sharp, grated
- Freshly ground black pepper
Place about ¼ inch of water in a large skillet. Add broccoli. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and crisp-tender. Remove from the skillet and place in a large bowl. Wipe skillet dry.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Generously salt water, about 2 teaspoons, and add pasta. Cook and drain according to package instructions.
While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Whisk in rice flour. A paste will form. Cook, whisking constantly, until lightly brown, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. In a slow and steady stream, add milk and half-and-half. Cook, stirring frequently, until thick, about 3 to 4 minutes.
Add the cheese, pasta and broccoli to the skillet. Stir to combine. Heat until cheese melts, about 3 to 4 minutes. If sauce is too thick, add ¼ cup milk to thin. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.