Pesto Mac and Cheese

Staff Writer
Pesto Mac and Cheese
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
1258
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.

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.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
56g
86%
Sugar
20g
N/A
Saturated Fat
31g
100%
Cholesterol
148mg
49%
Protein
61g
100%
Carbs
128g
43%
Vitamin A
545µg
61%
Vitamin B12
2µg
32%
Vitamin B6
0.5mg
22.7%
Vitamin C
20mg
33%
Vitamin D
3µg
1%
Vitamin E
2mg
9%
Vitamin K
64µg
80%
Calcium
1197mg
100%
Fiber
10g
38%
Folate (food)
109µg
N/A
Folate equivalent (total)
128µg
32%
Folic acid
11µg
N/A
Iron
5mg
28%
Magnesium
172mg
43%
Monounsaturated
15g
N/A
Niacin (B3)
5mg
27%
Phosphorus
1130mg
100%
Polyunsaturated
6g
N/A
Potassium
875mg
25%
Riboflavin (B2)
0.9mg
53.8%
Sodium
1380mg
58%
Thiamin (B1)
0.7mg
43.4%
Trans
0.5g
N/A
Zinc
7mg
47%

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