Pesto Mac and Cheese


I’m not usually a baked mac and cheese person.  I have tons of friends who would disagree with me, but to me, the crispy bread crumb topping just sort of messes with the gooey deliciousness that is mac and cheese.

Wednesdays are my cooking night – I’m lucky enough to have the day off, and so I usually spend the afternoon dreaming up a delicious dinner to oooh and aaahh the family with.  This week – I referred to one of my favorite food blogs:  noblepig.com.  Seriously – if you haven’t started reading her blog yet, do it.  Right now.  A while ago she made this recipe, for gnocchi mac and cheese.  I was inspired.  Off I tottered to the store to buy the necessary ingredients, only to find a distinct lack of gnocchi.  There was nothing to do, but throw my hands up in the air, and do what my father’s been teaching me to do since I first started cooking – improvise.  A little wandering of the frozen pasta aisle, and a little digging through the fridge, and tada!

PS  This was amazing served with sweet Italian sausage :)

Pesto Mac and Cheese

1 pound tri-color tortellini
2 Tablespoons butter
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1/4 cup shredded fontina cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano

Prepare tortellini according to package directions, drain and place in a well greased, medium sized  casserole dish.

Meanwhile, melt your butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk in flour until it thickens and bubbles, then whisk in milk and pesto.  Continue to whisk mixture and cook until slightly thickened, about 3-5 minutes.

Add gruyere and fontina slowly to milk mixture, allowing each handful to melt before adding the next one.

Pour sauce over tortellini and sprinkle liberally with shredded Parm.  Bake at 350F 20-25 minutes, until top starts to bubble brown slightly.  Enjoy :)

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