This pasta bake is a twist on my macaroni and cheese recipe. A couple of my kids are starting to fight eating vegetables and I am beginning to incorporate the veggies into a dish instead of keeping them on the side. This way, they are somewhat hidden or covered in lots of good stuff – this time, melted cheese.
My kids have always been good at eating their veggies and I am not sure what has brought about the change. Hopefully it doesn’t last. So for this dish, I took my mac and cheese recipe and added sauteed leeks and broccoli.
Instead of cheddar cheese, I used a blend of Italian cheeses (mozzarella, provolone and parmesan). It turned out to be a great side dish and a bit more adult than classic mac and cheese. The kids enjoyed it and didn’t mind the vegetables.
One win for dad!
Cheesy Leek and Broccoli Pasta Bake
- 500 g or about 1 pound dry pasta (macaroni, scoobi doo, penne, etc.)
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 leeks , washed and sliced
- 2 cups chopped broccoli
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups milk
- 3 cups grated mozzarella or Italian cheese blend
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- Cook the pasta according to packaged instructions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
- Heat 3 tbsp butter in a skillet on medium heat. Add the sliced leeks and cook for a few minutes, stirring often so they do not burn. Add the broccoli and cook for a few more minutes, or until the broccoli is tender.
- In a saucepan, on medium heat, melt the 1/4 cup butter. Whisk in the flour until smooth. This creates a roux. Continue to whisk it for a minute.
- While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Once smooth add 2 1/4 cups of the grated cheese and spices. Stir until smooth.
- In a large bowl, mix the pasta, cheese sauce and sauteed vegetables, until all the noodles are covered in some sauce. Spread the mixture in a casserole dish.
- Sprinkle remaining cheese on top..
- Bake in a 350F oven for 30 minutes.