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Lighter Mac & Cheese Recipe

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The base is pasta mixed with broccoli florets (there's your hidden veggie) and the sauce is made from olive oil, onion, ground mustard, flour, and a lighter cheese trifecta: Neufchatel, which is naturally low in fat, plus extra-sharp cheddar and grated Parmesan, which are so flavorful you don't need to use that much. Some low-fat milk makes it creamy, while toasted panko breadcrumbs give the casserole a nice crunchy topping. Watch the video and I'll show you why making a fancy-sounding bechamel sauce is actually super easy!

Cooking Recipe

Servings: 6
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Ready In: 45 minutes

Ingredients:
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound short tubular pasta, such as cavatappi
2 cups broccoli, cut into florets, stalks peeled and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground mustard
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 ounces Neufchatel cheese
3 cups 1% milk
1 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp cheddar cheese (5 ounces)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (2 ounces)
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs, toasted

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes less than package instructions. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes more. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large pan over medium-high. Add onion, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and ground mustard. Saute until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add Neufchatel, 1 tablespoon at a time, stirring until incorporated. Gradually whisk in milk, then bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, about 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in cheddar and Parmesan, then add pasta and broccoli. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Transfer to an 8-inch square baking dish and bake until bubbling in center, about 25 minutes. Sprinkle with panko, and serve.

Cook's Note

Recipe Makeover!
A serving of mac and cheese can pack up to 800 calories and 40 grams of fat. We whittled those numbers way down by subbing 1% milk for whole and creamy Neufchatel for higher-fat cheeses. Broccoli adds substance and vitamins.

http://www.marthastewart.com/969073/lighter-three-cheese-mac

Lighter Mac & Cheese Recipe
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