Kale and Basil Pesto Mac & Cheese
With the cooler weather and winter months ahead, its all about comfort food for my family. Mac and Cheese is always a favourite so I am always trying to get creative and whats in season. This Mac and Cheese was inspired by my friends over at Italpasta. Their Gluten Free Pasta is absolutely delicious and is my go to when I am cooking for friends and family who are GF. With the abundance of our farm kale, I gave this dish an Italian twist by tossing it with a Kale and Basil Pesto and gave it a Ricotta Cheese Sauce. It is definitely a dish you need to enjoy this fall and winter season!
340 g Italpasta GF Elbows
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk or 2 %
1 cup whole milk ricotta, strained
1 cup white cheddar, grated
1/3 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Kale and Basil Pesto
2 cup baby kale leaves
1 cup basil
1 tsp seas salt
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, season with 1 tsp of salt and add pasta. Cook until el dente but still firm. Drain pasta and place it back in the pot.
to make pesto, add kale and basil into a food processor or blender. Pulse until finely chopped. Add sea salt and with the motor running, slowly pour in olive oil. Add garlic, almonds, cheese and pulse until finely chopped and combined. Set aside until ready to use.
In a large deep sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until mixture has turned golden. Whisk in the milk and remove any lumps. Cook until slightly thicken, about 5 minutes. Add ricotta and grated cheese and continue whisking until cheese has melted and mixture is creamy. Pour mixture into the pot with the pasta and stir in the pesto mixing well.
Divide Mac & Cheese mixture amongst 4 (7" x 5.5" x 2") or an 8 inch casserole dish.
Sprinkle parmigiano cheese on top and place in preheated oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes until cheese and tops are golden.
Makes 4 servings