Skillet Spirals and Cheese With Broccoli 03-Oct-2013

Hum… maybe? Another from the same issue as others.

I always swore I wouldn’t be one of those parents who tried to sneak vegetables into their kids’ favorite foods. I raised an eyebrow at the likes of squash purees in brownies; it could only be a turnoff to both the vegetable and the sweet, and what could be sadder than a world without brownies? What I hadn’t expected is that I’d end up with a kid who likes broccoli but not macaroni and cheese, and that instead of just shrugging this off, I’d be adding broccoli florets to a baked cheesy pasta casserole to make it more appealing to him. But it worked, and this is how we’ve made it ever since – in a cast-iron skillet for weeknight ease.


  • 8 oz dried whole wheat pasta spirals
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sliced scallions
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 cups milk (any fat level will do)
  • 2 cups grated cheeses (such as cheddar and Gruyere), mixed
  • 2 oz (1/2 cup) finely grated Parmesan


  1. Cook pasta in salted, boiling water for 2 minutes less than package directions.

  2. Add broccoli florets and cook with pasta for remaining time.

  3. Drain pasta and broccoli.

  4. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat.

  5. Add scallions and let sizzle for one minute.

  6. Add flour and stir until it disappears.

  7. Slowly drizzle milk in a thin stream, whisking as you go.

  8. Add 1 teaspoon salt and season with pepper.

  9. Bring sauce to a simmer and cook 3 minutes, stirring.

  10. Remove sauce from heat and mix in 3/4s of grated cheeses, stirring until melted and smooth.

  11. Stir in drained pasta and broccoli.

  12. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.

  13. Heat broiler and put skillet topped with cheese under for 3 to 5 minutes, until the pasta is browned and crisp on top.

  14. Serve from skillet.