Pesto & Scallion Mac n’ Cheese

Sometimes you just need some comfort food.

Because you stubbed your toe on that stupid raised step into the kitchen that you know is there, but nevertheless you always seem to forget to pick up your foot that extra two inches.

Or maybe because it’s dark and rainy out, and that’s just a good reason in itself to do anything in the kitchen.

Or perhaps you whipped up an awesome batch of cupcakes, and wanted to top them with an equally awesome brown sugar marshmallow frosting.  Except no matter how long you hovered over your hand mixer churning away, the frosting never gets past the consistency of fluff, and so you give up and eat your cupcakes, slightly unsatisfied.

That’s reason enough for me to throw a nice, bubbly pan of mac n’ cheese in the oven.  And if scallions and pesto are added to the mix, my sad cupcake blues just melt away with each bite that feels like a hug in my mouth.  Excuse me, I have some more cheesy pasta to eat.

Pesto & Scallion Mac n’ Cheese

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Makes 4-6 servings

4 cups pasta (smallish pasta works best, like elbow noodles, penne, rotini)

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

10 oz grated cheddar cheese, and more for topping

pinch of nutmeg

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup pesto

½ cup scallions, chopped (optional)

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot and cook pasta according to directions.  Make sure to cook it a few minutes short as it will cook again in the oven.

While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add flour and whisk until smooth to create a roux. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until golden and has a nutty aroma. Add milk and cream, bring to a boil while constantly whisking. Reduce heat to low and add cheese, then cook for a few minutes while stirring until cheese is melted and mixture thickens. Add nutmeg, then taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Add pasta to a baking dish (I used an 8X8″) and pour cheese sauce over top. Stir to distribute sauce, then stir in pesto and scallions. Top with additional grated cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until top is golden and bubbly.


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