Friday, June 6, 2008

Broccoli and Maccheroni with Bechamel

Today I tried out something, which I always find hard to do. Which is preparing a good white sauce. It is also commonly called Bechamel. There are of course many different versions of it with different names.
Earlier when I made it, it sometimes turned out excellent, and still so often something or the other would go wrong. Whereby it is apparently one of the easiest of sauces to make. Maybe because I do not make it so often. In fact, I avoid making it, partly because it has been a matter of luck for me, if it turns out good or not, and partly because my hubby is rather more fond of tomato sauce to any kind of pasta.
But today I was in the mood of Bechamel! And I was very much in the mood of experimenting! And the best part is, I did not look up any books or recipes. Aaaannndd... my son was with me- you ask why. Well... read on! :)

So, here it goes, pasta with my version of bechamel :

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes

250 g elbow macaroni
1 packet Broccoli, washed and cut into small florets
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 tbsp flour

250 ml of brew from the cooked broccoli (if cooked separately, add water)
1 tsp heaped vegetable stock (Alnatura, for example)
(OR: 250 ml cooked vegetable stock)

40-50 g Fresh cheese
40-50 g a soft french cheese, cut into small chunks without the skin (white mould)
40-50 g Gauda, grated
1 large Tomato, diced
1/2 pinch red chilli powder (optional; replace with ground white or black pepper)

1 tbsp mustard or rapeseed oil, or olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1 tsp sesame seed (this was my son's idea- he came with the packet and wanted to have it in the food)
1 tbsp parsely, finely chopped

  • Cook macaroni in boiling water with salt. After about 4 -5 mniutes add broccoli. Cook for further 5 minutes or until done.
  • OR : cook them separately. Use very little water for broccoli.
  • Rinse broccoli with cold water to retain the frsh green colour.
  • Keep the brew from Broccoli (if using separately) after it is done in a bowl
  • For the white sauce (Bechamel) heat the butter on medium heat, add flour and stir till golden brown in colour (a crucial step) don't let it burn. Keep a whisk at hand.
  • Remove from the stove and immediately add the brew(+ water) and stir vigorously and quickly with a whisk to mix.
  • Put back on the cooktop, add the veg. stock, and whisk. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook further while stirring continuously (Important!).
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook further for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  • While whisking further, add slowly, fresh cheese, french cheese and Gauda. Whisk till everything melts.
  • Switch off heat. Add a pinch of pepper, white or black, as per liking. This time I used not even a pinch of red chilli powder. Stir. Keep aside.
  • heat oil in a sauté pan, add onion and sesame seeds. Stir and saute till golden brown. Mix with the pasta and broccoli. Keep a teespoonful of it as a garnish for the sauce (optional) along with .
  • Serve warm with the bechamel sauce garnished with parsely.
I relished this one so much, so it landed here in my blog collection!
I KNOW ... I KNOW... THE PICTURE IS MISSING! But we were just too hungry! :)

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