Sunday, January 25, 2015


Olivia is an expert at taking a recipe and making it her own.  This recipe came from the Food Network Magazine.  She substituted bacon for Canadian bacon and she added some cooked shredded chicken (She keeps home canned jars of it in her pantry.  It is a very convenient thing to have around and makes it possible for her to take advantage of chicken when it is on sale).  She also had some garden blend rotini pasta in the pantry so that is the pasta she used.  You can use whatever you like or what you have on hand.  Olivia is not one to make the same recipes repeatedly, but this one had her husband asking for a repeat performance.  This recipe is tasty and includes just about everything you need for dinner.  The recipe printed here is the original recipe, but the picture shows Olivia's variation.  Give it some thought and maybe you will come up with your own variations.
- Nanette


Kosher salt
8 ounces cavatappi or other corkscrew pasta
4 cups broccoli florets (about 8 ounces)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 slices Canadian bacon (about 4 ounces), chopped
4 scallions, chopped (white and green parts separated)
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons dijon mustard
1 cup 2% milk
1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (about 6 ounces)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the broccoli during the last 3 minutes of cooking. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the Canadian bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden and slightly crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon; reserve the drippings in the pan.

Add the scallion whites, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper to the saucepan. Cook until slightly softened, 1 minute. Whisk in the flour and mustard; cook, whisking, until the flour is lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and reserved pasta water. Cook, whisking, until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Add the cheeses; cook, whisking, until creamy, about 2 more minutes.

Stir the pasta, broccoli and Canadian bacon into the cheese sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with the scallion greens.

Photograph by Charles Masters

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine

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