When quarantine hit, Dave and I were definitely on the late-to-the-grocery-store-party and found ourselves with bare cupboards and a major moment of w.t.f. upon seeing the empty shelves at the grocery store.
Needless to say, this has inspired some moments of necessary creativity as well as a lot of “whelp, if that’s what they’ve got, I guess that’s what we’ll buy.”
But according to our old friend Plato, necessity is the mother of invention, and all that…
Thus, Rigatoni and Cheese with Charred Broccoli was birthed directly from The Gourmet Gourmand’s kitchen. (o.m.g. guys I might be cracking…)
But seriously.. the rigatoni was the last of like 4 packages of pasta on the shelf, the cheese in this came in the form of awkward snack packs, and the broccoli is straight from our backyard garden.
A true quarantine meal if I ever saw one!
However, in spite of its hodge-podge origin, this dish is phenomenal, guys, and I have no qualms about posting it here and will definitely be making it again and again.
For anyone else still struggling with limited choice at the store, I imagine this would work well with any bite-sized pasta of your choice (penne, cavatapi, fusilli, etc). If you need to adapt the cheese, maybe you could switch out the fontina for something that’s fairly soft and melty – monterey jack maybe?
Also, guys… we’re on week five of Shelter in Place. Congrats to us for making it this far and still staying home. It’s so so hard, but it’s for the greater good. <3
Rigatoni and Cheese with Charred BroccoliCourse: SidesCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Easy
10 oz dried Rigatoni (or about 2/3 of a 1lb box)
1/2 of a small head of broccoli, sliced into florets
Salt and Pepper to taste
- For the Sauce
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
2 1/2 cups whole milk
10 oz shredded white cheddar cheese, divided
6 oz shredded fontina
1 teaspoon dried mustard
3-4 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil on the stove. Add Rigatoni and boil per package instructions (mine took 12 minutes). Drain, rinse, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil or parchment. Place broccoli in a single layer on the sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 15 minutes, or until charred and fork tender.
- Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and cook for about 3-5 minute, or until flour is lightly browned.
- Add milk and whisk until smooth.
- Turn heat to low and add 8 oz of the white cheddar and 6 oz of the fontina, a handful at a time, whisking to melt between additions.
- Finally, stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and black pepper. (Salt to taste, but I found this wasn’t necessary due to the cheese).
- To the sauce, add rigatoni and charred broccoli, stirring to coat all ingredients fully Carefully pour entire mixture into a 10 inch cast iron skillet, or other 3 quart baking dish.
- Sprinkle with remaining 2 oz of shredded white cheddar.
- Bake at 400 degrees F for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.