Oh, the midst of a remodel. It is a tough place to be sometimes. We can’t wait for it to be over. But one very important piece of progress has been made: our beautiful gas range has been installed.
Dave and I have talked about getting a gas range for years. We love to cook, and we love to cook together, especially. So doing what we can to make our kitchen special has been a high priority.
For a few days, the new stove sat in the corner of the kitchen, wrapped in plastic. We sold our old stove on craigslist, so we couldn’t cook at all for a couple of days except with a toaster oven. We ate a lot of toast, salads and raw tomatoes. Not the world’s worst option!
But when we got home on Tuesday, there it was: our stove was in place, even though there’s plenty of other things left in the remodel. I can’t tell you how good it felt to cook a meal together in our kitchen again.
If possible, it made this comfort food even more comforting.
One of my favorite things about this dish is that it combined our strengths. I love to come up with meal combinations out of what is already in the fridge and pantry – which was kind of slim pickings since we haven’t been able to cook for a week. Dave is so great at improvising sauces. Together, those talents made this broccoli cheese mac.
There weren’t any leftovers.
2 cups dry short pasta
1 cup raw broccoli florets
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. AP flour
1 1/2 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheese (at least half of it should be sharp cheddar)
Cook the pasta according to package directions. While it’s boiling, steam the broccoli in a separate pot until it can be easily pierced with a fork. To keep the pot count relatively low, I recommend dumping the water in with the drained pasta.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook two or three minutes until the mixture is fragrant and lightly browned. Whisk in the milk, and then heat to a simmer. Hold at a simmer until lightly thickened. Finally, stir in the shredded cheese. Toss with the pasta and broccoli and top with freshly ground black pepper.