Sunday, August 11, 2013

Easy Cheesy Broccoli Pasta

The idea for this recipe came to me the other night when we were craving mac and cheese but didn't want a dish packed with butter and heavy cream AND wanted it to be super easy to make.  Of course there are the processed box versions of mac and cheese but we wanted the real a veggie bonus I decided to throw some broccoli in there for an extra nutrition boost.  The result?  A delicious, healthy AND easy cheesy broccoli pasta!  Try it and let me know how you like it!

1/4 box of pasta- I used mini farfalle (1/4 lb total)
6 ounces broccoli florets washed and cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
3/4-1 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Granulate garlic to taste (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Cook pasta according to package instructions- 3 minutes before the pasta is finished cooking, add broccoli in with the pasta and give it a good stir.  When pasta is finished cooking, strain and add olive oil, salt, pepper and granulated garlic (if using) to taste.  Combine ingredients thoroughly.

3.  Depending on whether you are using mini serving dishes as pictured above (which I highly recommend because not only do they look adorable but this is a great way to exercise portion control) or a large pyrex/other oven safe dish, layer broccoli pasta until it fills half of the dish, add cheddar cheese and a touch more pepper, then fill rest of dish with broccoli pasta and top with some more cheddar cheese and pepper.

4.  Place into oven for 5 minutes until cheese is melted and that's it!  Enjoy!

PS- you may want to make more for leftovers; we're so glad we did :)

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