Pesto Mac + Cheese

5 Oct

Tonight I got home from dance class wanting something a) fast b) caloric. Belly dancing? Makes you hungry. 

Can we take a moment here and just step back, and look at anorexic ole me knowing my body needs to replenish after burning calories? Yeah, that’s some motherfucking recovery. 

Okay, so, I really really love both pesto and mac n cheese. I figured they’d be rad together. Spoiler: Holy God. SO GOOD. 

I’m pretty sure this recipe cannot be made vegan, but, if one of y’all wants to take up that challenge, feel free. 

I did a small batch, but you could really easily double this. 

1/2 box medium shells

1 1/2 tablespoons each butter and flour

1 cup milk (I used 2% so I felt better, but given the amount of cheese. . .)

1 cup good smoked gouda (microbial or vegetable rennet)

1/2 cup whipped cream cheese

large handful basil

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1/8 cup pinons

salt, pepper, cayenne

Bring water to a boil, add shells. While they cook, make a roux with the butter + flour. Add the milk (I do that shit cold. I am too lazy to add an extra step AND more dishes by heating the milk up separately). Bring JUST to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add garlic powder. IT’S NOT TOO MUCH. It’s pesto. You need garlic. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. And then more pepper. And then more pepper. Let cook while you shred the gouda. Turn the heat off under the bechemel + stir in all the cheese. Yes, I know that’s twice as much cheese as you should put in that amount of bechemel. Trust meeeee. Put cream cheese, basil + pinons in a blender or food processor. Don’t forget the pasta! Drain it when it’s done, and immediately add the sauce. The rest of the gouda will melt that didn’t melt in the bechemel. Stir in the cream cheese/basil mixture. Test for seasoning. Go forth! Eat pasta! 

I can’t take a picture because my husband ate all of it. WIN.

Be careful out there, my friends, and remember: nothing is hopeless if my sick anorexic ass can grow up to celebrate the need for calories after exercise. 

-C

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