Tonight I revisited the dish, making a change or two mostly just because I have a hard time making exactly the same dish twice. This time I let the broccoli cook past the parboiled stage until it was fairly soft, then chopped it roughly before returning it to the Cheddar-and-Parmigiano Mornay. I also stirred in a dollop of Dijon mustard, a flavor that I thought would work and play well with the broccoli; and separately sauteed a bit of chopped onion and minced garlic to bring additional flavor to the mix.
- Cut one or two broccoli "trees" into florets and simmer them in boiling salted water until fairly soft, about 6 minutes. Drain and reserve, reserving the cooking water, and use this water in the next step ...
- Cook 4 ounces penne pasta (or the long or short pasta of your choice) in the broccoli-scented water until al dente, about 12-14 minutes for penne.
- While the pasta is cooking, make a quick Mornay-style sauce, whisking 2 tablespoons flour into 1 ounce melted organic butter over moderately high heat. When the flour is incorporated and startint to turn reddish, add 1 cup milk (or veg broth or water if you prefer), a little at a time, until you have a thick white sauce. Stir in about 3/4 cup sharp Cheddar and 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and black pepper.
- Meanwhile, during slack time, you'll have sauted about 1/4 cup chopped onion and one minced garlic clove in a little butter or oil. Add it to the simmering Mornay, and stir in the reserved broccoli. Hold over very low heat until the pasta is done.
- Drain the pasta and stir it into the sauce. Check seasoning and serve in warm bowls.