Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1cupItalian or mozzarella cheese
3/4cuppanko bread crumbs
Chopped freshly parsleyoptional
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta 1-2 minutes less than called for in the package directions. Add the broccoli to the pasta water in the last two minutes of cooking. Drain and transfer back to the pot or a large bowl.
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon oil from the sun dried tomato jar in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add the sun dried tomatoes and balsamic vinegar, stirring until the vinegar is cooked off and the tomatoes are hot, about 1 minute. Transfer the mixture to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk. Whisk in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Cook, whisking, until thick, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to the bowl with the pasta and broccoli.
Stir the pasta together with the sauce and vegetables. Spread out in the prepared pan and top with mozzarella cheese.
In a small bowl, combine panko, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon olive oil, stirring or mixing with clean fingers until fully combined. Sprinkle evenly over the mozzarella. Sprinkle to taste with salt and pepper.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until the top is beginning to brown and the edges are bubbly. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
A few ideas to customize your sun dried tomato and broccoli unstuffed shells:
Use a gluten-free pasta, gluten-free flour blend, and skip the breadcrumbs to make this gluten-free
Swap the large shells for whatever shape you have on hand
Add whatever leftover veggies you might have on hand such as cooked zucchini, spinach, or sweet potato cubes