Broccoli and Pasta Casseroles
Using whole-wheat pasta and breadcrumbs boosts the fiber content of this crowd-pleaser and gives it an appealing nuttiness. Fat-free milk, part-skim ricotta and a touch of sharp Parmesan lighten the casserole without sacrificing the taste or texture.
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread (1 ounce)
- 1 head broccoli (1 pound), cut into florets, stems peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 8 ounces whole-wheat fusilli pasta
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion (5 ounces), finely chopped (about 1 cup)
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- 4 cups skim milk
- 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, pureed
- 2 ounces grated Parmesan (1 cup)
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Process the bread in a food processor until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet. Toast for 8 minutes.
Cook the broccoli in a large pot of boiling water until slightly tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, reserving the water in the pot. Add the pasta to the water, and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain.
Add the oil and onion to clean pot over medium heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the flour and ground mustard. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk in a slow, steady stream. Bring to a boil. Cook, whisking, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the cheeses and 1 teaspoon salt. Season with pepper.
Stir in the broccoli and pasta. Transfer to six 1 1/2-cup ramekins or an 8 1/2 by-11-inch baking dish; top with the breadcrumbs. Bake until bubbling and tops are browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
Recipe reprinted by permission of Martha Stewart Living. All rights reserved.
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