October 26, 2015

Roasted Broccoli and Alfredo Stuffed Shells

This everyone, is my dream dish. I am a complete alfredo, pasta and broccoli fanatic. Always have been, always will be. When I saw this recipe pop up in my Bloglovin' feed I knew I had to make it right away.
Well here we are a few test runs later and I think I've finally perfected this dish. We finally got to the point where Jordan and I both agreed while eating that this was absolutely delicious.
The first couple of times I made this recipe, I steamed the broccoli (a little too much I might add), which made the filling watery and kind of weird. I always roast broccoli so I thought it would be a great way to get rid of the extra moisture and add some flavor. Boy was I right!
I usually salt my roasted broccoli, but that made the whole dish a little too salty so I only used pepper and it was great.
This recipe takes a little time and can be tricky making everything at once, but I assure you, it's worth it. And if you have to go store-bought with the alfredo sauce I understand, but you should really try it with homemade. It's the best. And you'll never buy store-bought again.

Roasted Broccoli and Alfredo Stuffed Shells
Adapted from Creme de la Crumb
20 pasta shells, cooked al dente according to package's instructions
1 1/2-2 cups alfredo sauce (store-bought or homemade/see below)
2-3 cups roasted broccoli florets, see below
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided

*Prepare the alfredo, pasta shells and roasted broccoli first. (This recipe has a few steps so if store-bought alfredo saves you time use it, but homemade is worth the extra 5 minutes.) 

Alfredo Sauce
1 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. seasoning of your choice, (Italian, Sicilian, etc.)

1. Melt butter in medium pot over low heat. Add garlic; cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in half-and-half until smooth.
2. Bring to boil, whisking. {This is the key: Boil and Whisk} Cook, whisking, until beginning to thicken, 2-3 minutes. Stir in Parmesan, salt, seasoning and pepper.

Roasted Broccoli
2-3 cups broccoli (about 1-2 regular heads), cleaned and stems trimmed
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/8 tsp. pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
2. Place broccoli on a parchment paper or foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle the broccoli with olive oil and then toss to combine to coat each piece. Sprinkle with pepper. (You can also mix the broccoli and seasonings in a bowl before placing on the baking sheet.)
3. Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until stems are golden brown and slightly crisp.
4. Remove broccoli from oven and set aside.

For Stuffed Shells:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9x13-inch dish with cooking spray. Spread 3/4 cup of alfredo sauce in the bottom of the dish.
2. In a large bowl combine remaining alfredo sauce, broccoli, mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Stir until combined.
3. Spoon broccoli mixture into pasta shells. Place side by side in baking dish (it's okay if they're touching). Sprinkle remaining parmesan over shells.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.

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