This easy and frugal dish is an all-round crowd pleaser. Kids love the creamy mild sauce in this dish and grownups like the ‘comfort food’ factor. It’s a fantastic way to use up leftover chicken, and it couldn’t be easier to put together.
Mustard adds a great little zing to this dish, but adjust the amount to your taste. I love to use wholegrain Dijon mustard in this recipe because of its mildness and depth of flavour. Don’t worry if you haven’t got /don’t want to use sherry or Madeira; it does add flavour but it is far from indispensable in this dish. There is nothing to stop you using penne or bow tie pasta (or any other pasta shape you like) instead of macaroni. In fact it is a great way to use up ends of pasta, finishing off all those annoying little bags with just a little bit in them!
This recipe will serve 4 to 6 people, depending on age and appetite! I like to serve it with my Mom’s frugal and delicious garlic bread. As well as using slightly past their best hamburger buns to make her delicious recipe, you can also use leftover English muffins or French bread.
2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 red pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and finely sliced in circles or half moons
2 cups broccoli florets
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ cup Madeira or sherry (optional)
3 generous tablespoons flour
2 cups vegetable stock
4 cups milk
2 to 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, or wholegrain Dijon mustard
2 cups macaroni or 3 cups pasta shapes (about 250 grams or half a pound)
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
¾ cup of your favourite cheddar cheese
Heat the oil in a large lidded saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for about five minutes or until it begins to soften and become translucent. Add the chopped pepper, carrots and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in the marjoram and pepper.
Turn the heat up just a tiny bit and add the Madeira or sherry, if using. Stir it round and let it sizzle a bit.
Sprinkle the flour over top of the vegetables and stir through. Cook for a minute or so.
Stir in the stock, milk and mustard and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly.
Add the pasta shapes and stir them through. Pop the lid on the pan, lower the heat a little and cook for about five minutes, stirring from time to time to make sure it does not stick to the pan. (Lower the heat a bit if it begins to stick.)
Add the broccoli and the cheeses and stir through. Put the lid back on and cook for another 10 minutes, stirring from time to time. The dish is done when the pasta is al dente and the broccoli is tender.
Taste and check the consistency, adding a tiny bit more milk if you need to. Add salt and a bit more pepper to taste.
Shared with Let’s Do Brunch