…and adding roasted broccoli to anything is always a good idea. Little crunchy, crispy bouquets of green.
Béchamel is a traditional white sauce, sometimes called a “mother sauce”, because of how commonly it’s used in cooking, particularly french cuisine. It is made from a roux (equal parts butter and flour combined over heat) and milk.
I was craving mac & cheese but something a little *more* than the normal, orange, cheesy version. Not that there’s anything wrong with good old kraft mac & cheese, if that’s your thing; I don’t judge. 😉 We all have our vices.
So let’s talk béchamel again.
I added some shredded cheese to this for a thicker version – and roasted broccoli on the side because #eatmoreplants.
- 2 T butter (plant based or whatever kind you like)
- 2 T flour (all purpose, GF or a mix will work fine)
- 1 1/2 c milk (I used cashew milk – PLEASE make sure your milk is unsweetened…so you don’t end up with a bowl of sweet, vanilla pasta…)
- pinch of nutmeg (optional)
- salt & pepper to taste (white pepper would be preferred if you care about keeping your sauce white, but personally I don’t care to buy two different kinds of pepper.)
- 3/4 c shredded cheese (I used an almond milk mozzarella)
- 1 large broccoli crown, chopped into bite site pieces
- pasta of your choice
This makes approx. 2 cups of sauce, enough for ~3 servings.
Before starting your sauce, get your pasta water boiling and pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees F.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper and lay the chopped broccoli out on it.
Lightly spray your broccoli with oil and sprinkle salt and pepper to taste.
Place in the oven and set the timer for 18 minutes.
Warm a small sauce pan over medium-low heat.
Add the 2 T of butter to the pan.
When melted, add the flour and whisk until smooth.
Cook these two ingredients (stirring frequently) until thick and bubbly, about 4-5 minutes.
Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly.
Cook until hot and simmering, almost boiling, for another 5 minutes.
check your broccoli and your pasta! broccoli is done when the flowers have gotten crispy and golden brown. cook your pasta just under al dente, so that when you add it to the warm sauce it doesn’t turn to mush.
Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring frequently, until thickened. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes to achieve a velvety, smooth sauce.
When your béchamel has thickened, add the shredded cheese and mix to combine.
Taste and adjust salt & pepper if necessary.
Drain your pasta and add it to the pot along with your sauce. Mix well to coat the pasta.
Serve immediately with broccoli on the side.