Baked Mac Pesto

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Because green is in!  Pesto adds not only color to this classic dish but a lot of nutrition too.  You may use store-bought pesto but it’s more economical to make it at home especially if it’s going to be used  for this casserole.

You just put about 3 cups of basil leaves, lots of garlic, salt and pepper and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor or a blender and you have your pesto. No need to add cheese because there’ll be plenty in the beschamel sauce already, don’t  add any nuts too because I feel that it is not economical, you will not taste the difference anyway sans the pine nuts because there’s so much cheese!!

And speaking of cheese you may use any combination of your favorites. I like to combine cheddar, parmesan or pecorino with mozzarella, whatever is available.

As I often say here, the recipe is just a guide,  you may add or substitute other ingredients. That’s the fun in cooking.

 

Isolation can be good too,  in my case, I am again able to enjoy cooking and I hope to share the recipes that I queued up for posting a long time ago but I couldn’t find the energy to do so.

I like that I do not have to go out and face the daily traffic, it feels liberating. 🙂

It’s been a week now,  and so far still good..

 

Stay safe and let’s hope that this CoVid-19 virus would finally leave us.

Let’s cook!

Photos are incomplete because I ran into technical problems with editing, it was so frustrating but anyway, hope I can fix it and add them here soon.

 

melt butter in saucepan and add flour

cook for about 2 minutes, then slowly add the milk while stirring
there was a  problem with some of my photos..so let’s jump here–after adding pesto to the Beschamel sauce, add the cooked pasta
transfer to  a baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese mixture on top, Bake for 25-30 mins
et voila…your delicious home-cooked pasta dish is ready 🙂
ooohhh. yum. Hey, it’s your cheat day so no worries:)

Baked Mac Pesto
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups macaroni
  • 1 cup pesto sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 4 cups milk (1 liter)
  • garlic salt
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups grated cheeses ( cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella, provolone)
  • For topping --
  • 1½ cups grated mozzarella cheese combined with ½ cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
  • ½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
Instructions
  1. cook macaroni shells for about 11 minutes or al dente, drain and set aside. While pasta is cooking, start .making the Beschamel sauce with pesto
  2. First preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  3. Melt butter in a saucepan under moderate heat.
  4. add flour to the melted butter and stir for about 2 minutes.
  5. Slowly add milk while stirring to prevent clumps. Use a whisk if you have one.
  6. Add garlic salt and ground black pepper to season, keep stirring until the sauce coats the back of the spoon.
  7. Add a cup of pesto sauce and then the cheeses,
  8. let cook for about 5 minutes more.
  9. Do a taste test. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  10. Add in the cooked macaroni toss gently until evenly mixed
  11. Pour the pasta onto a buttered baking dish
  12. Sprinkle cheese mixture for topping evenly and cover baking dish with foil and bake for about 25-30 minutes or until the topping begins to bubble.
  13. Turn off oven.
  14. Serve immediately , it is very hot so be careful. Enjoy:)

 

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