There are very few people who dislike Mac and Cheese. It’s one of those favorite comfort foods that is rich and savory, and can be made in a single pot to share with your family (or eat by yourself on the couch!). Growing up, my FAVORITE was always the Kraft blue box with silly shapes – more pasta surface area within each bite. These days, I need a little less mass-produced packaging in my life, and a little more organic goodness. Enter: Whole foods. I shopped for all of the organic ingredients in this recipe there, but the real pièce de résistance was the fresh gigli pasta I found in their refrigerated section. It really made the dish fluffy and delicious.
We like this recipe a LOT in our household, because the cheese sauce is simple to make, and it’s easy to integrate a few vegetables into an otherwise indulgent dish. Test it out, and be prepared to be amazed – it’s exceptional!
Cast iron pan (deep!), Large colander, Cutting board, Chef’s knife, Deep pot for boiling, Wooden spatula
8-ounces fresh pasta (gigli), uncooked
3 cups organic broccoli florets, Italian parsley (for garnish), and 1/2 organic yellow onion chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 free range chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup organic skim milk (or Lactaid)
1 cup organic chicken broth
1/4 cup organic all-purpose flour (wheat is fine)
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1 cup organic shredded cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to the directions on packaging.
Add broccoli florets to the pasta during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain, and set aside.
In the meantime, prepare the chicken. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the milk, chicken broth, and flour. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder; whisk until well combined. Stir the milk mixture into the pan with the chicken. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Add pasta mixture and cheddar cheese; stir until cheese is melted and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat.
Let stand 2 to 3 minutes. Stir and Serve. Bon appetit!