Hazelnut and Basil Mac and Cheese

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rsz_basil_and_broccoli_mac_and_greens-789x525I am always on the lookout for new recipes to try on the family and Mac and Cheese is a favourite in our house, so I will definitely be trying this version of it which I found on the Rude Health blog.

SERVES 4

1 large bunch of basil (about 50g)
 

1 small head of broccoli (about 200 g), roughly chopped, stalk and all  

300 g macaroni, I use a wholemeal one  

250g sharp cheddar or gruyere cheese, or a mixture of both, grated  

150ml Rude Health Hazelnut Drink 

From the store cupboard: 2 cloves of garlic, a couple of slices of bread  

Method

  1.  Preheat your oven to 200C with a rack in the middle. Put a large pot of water on to boil. 
 
  2. Peel the garlic and put it into the bowl of your food processor with the basil (stalks and all), the broccoli and a good glug of olive oil and pulse until you have a fine crumb. Transfer 3⁄4 to to a small bowl, leave the rest in the food processor and tear in the bread from your store cupboard, blitz until you have fine breadcrumbs. 
 
  3. Boil the pasta in well-salted water for about 1⁄3 less time then the packet suggests — you want to be a bit undercooked as it will cook again in the oven. Drain the pasta, reserving a mug of the hot pasta water for later. 
 
  4. Return the hot pasta to the pan and add 3⁄4 of the cheese and the hazelnut drink. Next, add the pasta water to thin the sauce to the consistency of double cream, then stir through 3⁄4 of the broccoli mixture. It can be a bit runny as the pasta will soak up the liquid while it bakes. 
 
  5. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper before transferring everything to a large baking dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumb mixture and then the remaining cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is golden and crispy. Serve with a crisp green salad. 
 
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