White Cheddar and Arugula Pesto Mac & Cheese

Remember how I mentioned I wanted to make something else with the leftover arugula pesto on Monday? Well here it is! It’s another pasta dish, but this has white cheddar int it – one of my favorite cheeses. While preparing and practicing my presentation for my committee meeting today, I was in serious need of some comfort food. White cheddar macaroni and cheese was already super comforting by itself, but the addition of the pesto added great flavor. I even served this mac and cheese with some chicken sausage. It’s an adult version of hot dog mac and cheese.

My meeting is at 10am central today. Here’s to hoping I will be super relieved and happy when I talk to you tomorrow!

One year ago: Bean and Cheese Taquitos

WHITE CHEDDAR AND ARUGULA PESTO MAC & CHEESE

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

13.25 oz. box uncooked whole wheat pasta

2 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp flour

2 cups milk

1/4 cup heavy cream

8 oz. freshly grated white cheddar cheese, divided

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and pepper to taste

2/3 cup arugula pesto

1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Bring water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions, minus a few minutes of the cooking time since it will be going in the oven.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat butter in a 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 all but 1/4 cup of the 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.
  4. Add pasta to a baking dish and pour cheese sauce over top. Stir to distribute sauce, then stir in pesto. Top with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn on the broiler for 5 minutes or until top is golden and bubbly.

Source: Adapted slightly from How Sweet It Is.

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