September 15

Cheesy Fiori, Andouille, Chickpea, Broccoli

Meals that have ingredients that all end in the same sound ROCK.

No, really. This was such an awesome idea for dinner and it just so happens cheesy, fiori, andouille, chickpea, and broccoli all end in the -ee sound. Therefore my original statement must be true.

Don’t mind me. The silliness will wear off once I come down from my “awesome dinner” high.

There’s been a startling lack of vegetables and fruit in our diet recently. The last two weeks have been awful in regards to our diet. Eating out WAY too much. Ever since my birthday at the beginning of the month, it seems like I’ve eaten out every other day; usually dinner – not so much lunch. And of course, while there are healthy options at almost any restaurant you attend, I’m not going out to a place just to order a salad. Sure I’ll get something with a side salad, but just a salad because it’s the only healthy thing on the menu? No thanks. I’ll go buy the ingredients for one and make it at home.

Anyway, because there’s been a lack of it, my body has started craving things like beans and broccoli and carrots and every other delicious vegetable under the sun. Luckily for me, a few weeks back while rushing through Costco like a crazed woman on a mission [I was searching high and low for Chicago mix popcorn for The Fellow™], I stumbled into the cold produce room and picked up a giant bag of broccoli. I kept putting off making anything that could include it, but tonight I put my foot down. We were going to have something for dinner that had lots of broccoli in it. When I asked The Fellow™ what he wanted for dinner, he said “Pasta. Of the mac and cheese variety! With leftover andouille!”

Ooookay. Pasta was what I was initially thinking of, so at least we were on the same track there. But meaty mac & cheese? My stomach was already unhappy from a bag of those Nathan’s chili cheese fries-chips-things that I picked up at a gas station on my way home; now I would be adding sausage and rich cheese sauce to the gut storm I was already enduring?

Well, The Fellow™ wants what The Fellow™ wants and so he shall have it.

While I was gathering the ingredients for the meal, I caught a glimpse of the edge of the broccoli bag in the vegetable drawer and had a brain-gasm over how awesome broccoli covered in cheese tastes. Since one of my favorite pasta dishes is Broccoli & Bean, I grabbed a can of chickpeas out of the cupboard and went to town on what would no doubt be an excellent meal.

Boy, was I right.

This recipe was adapted from my Spicy Farfalle & Cheese recipe, but warranted its own post since it’s a seemingly whole different meal.

 

 

 

Cheesy Fiori, Andouille, Chickpea, Broccoli

Ingredients

2 cups uncooked pasta
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon pepper
2 cups milk
2/3 cup cheddar-jack cheese mix
1/2 cup pepper jack
1/4 cup sharp white cheddar
7-10 ounces of andouille sausage, quartered
2 cups broccoli, diced
1 15 ounces can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

Directions

1) *Optional* Cook andouille sausage in the oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven, quarter. (Johnsonville’s 2-pack of andouille comes pre-cooked, so cooking is not necessary, but I like crisping up the skin a little for the finished product)

2) Boil water on high and add pasta. Cook for 8-9 minutes until al dente. Drain and set aside.

3) Melt butter over low heat in large pot. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking over low heat, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until melted.

4) Add andouille, broccoli, and chickpeas at the same time and fold into the sauce. Let simmer for a few minutes so the broccoli softens slightly, but does not start to turn to mush. Fold in the pasta.

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