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Spicy Mac and Three Cheeses with Broccoli

Spicy Mac and Three Cheeses with Broccoli


  • 4 cups broccolini florets, chopped broccoli rabe or broccoli florets

  • Salt

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne, twists or elbows or brown rice pasta

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 shallots, very finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 1 small Fresno chili pepper or red cherry pepper, seeded and very finely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons flour

  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk

  • Pepper

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded yellow sharp cheddar cheese

  • 1 cup aged Gouda cheese, shredded

  • 1 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, freshly shredded

  • A few sprigs of fresh thyme, finely chopped


Bring a few inches of water to a boil. Salt the water and parboil the broccolini, rabe or broccoli for 4-5 minutes. Drain and cold shock, then dry on kitchen towels. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and undercook the pasta by about 2 minutes. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F. Heat a saucepot over medium heat with the EVOO and butter. Sauté the shallots, garlic and chili pepper for 2-3 minutes, then add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and season the sauce with salt and pepper; melt in the cheddar and Gouda.

Combine the pasta with the broccolini, rabe or broccoli and the sauce and transfer to a baking dish. Top with the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, sprinkle with fresh thyme and bake until brown and bubbly. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, go to