Pesto-Havarti Mac and Cheese
Take it Easy
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups whole-wheat elbow macaroni (orecchiette will also work well)
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups whole milk at room temperature
- 2 cups shredded Havarti or mozzarella cheese I used a mixture
- 3 Tablespoons Spinach-Basil Pesto (recipe follows) or store bought sauce
- 4 cups packed spinach leaves
- 2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil or more for thinner pasta
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 large lemon
- 2 garlic cloves peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.
- Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serving immediately.
- In a food processor or blender combine all the ingredients and blend for 30 seconds. Scrape the sides down with a spatula blend again until smooth. If you want a thinner pesto add more olive oil. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary.
- Store in a jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or pour into ice cream molds and freeze for up to 6 months.