My family and I love pesto, it’s simple, healthy and delicious, so I make it often especially when basil is abundant in the market. But the kids, they love cheesy bechamel sauce too especially my daughter so I thought of combining the two but here, I did not add nuts and cheese to the pesto, it’s very basic- just basil leaves, garlic, olive oil seasoned with salt and pepper.
So, here it is- a twist to a classic pasta favorite…cheesy, creamy pesto macaroni…double yum! :)
cook macaroni and add pesto
put into baking dish
add cheese sauce and sprinkle with more grated cheese on top
bake until cheese bubbles and browns
..and serve! Mmmm!
BAKED MACARONI PESTO
6 ounces macaroni
pesto (recipe below)
Cheesy Bechamel Sauce:
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups evaporated milk +1 cup water or 3 cups fresh milk
4 ounces processed cheddar cheese, grated + 2 more ounces for topping
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder ( optional)
Cook macaroni in ( generously salted) boiling water; drain and add pesto sauce, mix until evenly coated ( add as much/less pesto as you like; pour into a greased baking dish and set aside.
Make the cheese sauce: In a saucepan, melt butter, add flour and cook while stirring for about 2 minutes then slowly add the milk, keep stirring while adding to prevent lumps. Add the grated cheese and cook until thick and creamy. Add a dash of nutmeg and season with salt and pepper to taste; pour on top of cooked macaroni pesto, sprinkle grated quickmelt cheese on top. Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese bubbles and browns. Let stand for a while before serving, it’s very, very hot so be careful. Enjoy! :)
Really Simple Pesto:
2 cups fresh basil leaves
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and mashed
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Wash basil leaves thoroughly. In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, put garlic and begin pulsing it for about 10 seconds, then add the basil leaves, salt, and pepper; with the processor running, slowly pour the olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until smooth.
Have a nice day!! God Bless!! :)