Pesto Mac and Cheese

Pesto Mac and Cheese
Staff Writer
David Venable

Trade your potato recipe for this Pesto Mac and Cheese. Double or triple the pesto recipe, refrigerate some, and use it to top some fettuccini you whip up later that week. Put any leftover pesto in the freeze in ice cube trays.

Recipe Courtesy of Chef David Venable

4
Servings
1383
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the pesto

  • 3 Cups frozen peas, defrosted
  • 1/2 Cup spinach
  • 1/4 Cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 Cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon black pepper

For the Mac and Cheese

  • 1 Pound short pasta, such as penne, cooked
  • 3 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 1/2 Tablespoons flour
  • 3 Cups milk
  • 3 Cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 3/4 Cups Asiago cheese, grated
  • 3 Teaspoons salt
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, melted

Directions

For the pesto

To prepare the pesto, pulse the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Then, pour the pesto and pasta in a large bowl; set aside.

For the Mac and Cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt the butter and in a medium-size sauce pot and stir in the flour. Cook for about a minute, stirring constantly. Add the milk and stir until the mixture has thickened and is nearly simmering. Add the Mozzarella, Asiago, salt, and pepper and stir until the cheese has melted.

Add the sauce to the bowl with the pesto and pasta. Fold together until combined. Pour the mixture into a 9x 13-inch baking dish.

Combine the breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and butter in a small bowl with a fork. Evenly sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture on top of the mac and cheese. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the topping has browned and the mac and cheese is bubbly.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
80g
100%
Sugar
12g
13%
Saturated Fat
36g
100%
Cholesterol
248mg
83%
Carbohydrate, by difference
78g
60%
Protein
90g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
610µg
87%
Vitamin B-12
7µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
1mg
77%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
28mg
37%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
68µg
76%
Calcium, Ca
1628mg
100%
Choline, total
131mg
31%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
9g
36%
Fluoride, F
1µg
0%
Folate, total
143µg
36%
Iron, Fe
9mg
50%
Magnesium, Mg
184mg
58%
Manganese, Mn
2mg
100%
Niacin
9mg
64%
Pantothenic acid
3mg
60%
Phosphorus, P
1562mg
100%
Riboflavin
1mg
91%
Selenium, Se
94µg
100%
Sodium, Na
2119mg
100%
Thiamin
1mg
91%
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)
2µg
13%
Water
449g
17%
Zinc, Zn
20mg
100%

Pesto Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pesto Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.