Mac n’ Cheese with Mushrooms and Broccoli Rabe

This grown-up mac n’ cheese is nothing to shake a stick at. Orecchiette cradles the creamy sauce perfectly and holds up against broccoli rabe, shitake and cremini mushrooms. Gruyere cheese adds to the nutty flavors while sharp cheddar cheese gives it the quintessential zing you’d expect from mac n’ cheese. To top it off (literally), panko bread crumbs are used to make a crunchy flavorful topping.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
8 oz. Shitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin
8 oz. Cremini or button mushrooms, stems removed, sliced thin
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz. Broccoli rabe, stems removed, cut into bite sized pieces
1 lb. Orecchiette pasta
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
3 cups milk
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch cayenne
1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 lb. Sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Topping:
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. dried herbs (thyme, parsley, oregano, etc.)
2 Tbsp. butter, melted

Procedure:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Heat a saute pan with olive oil. Add mushrooms to saute pan and season with salt and pepper. Saute until softened and brown in color. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Blanche broccoli rabe in water until just tender. Remove from water and add to mushroom saute. Saute for another 3-4 minutes. Set mixture aside.
  3. Bring salted water back up to a boil and cook pasta until al dente. Set aside.
  4. In a large stock pot, melt butter on medium heat, then whisk in flour to make a roux. Be sure to cook the mixture a couple minutes to get rid of the raw flour taste. Whisk in milk and stir until it comes to a boil. Once boiling, add nutmeg, cayenne, salt, pepper and cheeses. Stir until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add mushrooms, broccoli rabe and orecchiette to cheese sauce – mix well to combine, coating the pasta and vegetables with the sauce.
  6. Pour into a deep casserole dish. Prepare the topping: Combine panko, salt, pepper and dried herbs to taste. Melt butter and mix into crumbs with a fork. Sprinkle the topping over the mac n’ cheese. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes until bubbly. After 15 minutes, put the casserole dish on a medium broil to evenly brown the top.
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One Response to “Mac n’ Cheese with Mushrooms and Broccoli Rabe”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Weekend in Poughkeepsie « Delicious Ventures - August 24, 2010

    […] a big salad on the side, but I don’t think any of us really cared much for the salad! Click here to get my recipe and make it yourself! The panko topping was perfectly crisped and browned. The […]

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