Recipe: Broccoli Cheese Casserole


2 heads broccoli
8 oz. uncooked pasta (shells or noodles)
3 tbs. oil
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground pepper
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cups milk
2/3 cup grated cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 Tbsp. butter


Cut broccoli into florets. Peel stem and cut into bite-sized pieces. Cook pasta according to package directions. Add broccoli stems for last 5 minutes of cooking. Add broccoli florets for last 2 minutes. Drain and reserve. In a small skillet, place 3 Tbsp. oil. Sauté onion until limp, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and thyme and cook until fragrant. Sprinkle flour over top of onions and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk. Cook over low heat until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. In a large casserole, mix sauce, pasta, cheese and broccoli. Melt butter and toss with breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top. Bake, uncovered, at 350º for about 20 minutes.