Prep time5 minutes
Cook Time35 minutes
Equipment: Milo Classic Dutch Oven
Spring Pesto Mac & Cheese
3 cups (225 g) dry pasta shells
2.5 cups (250 g) shredded aged white cheddar
1/4 cup (56 g) parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp (28 g) unsalted butter
2 tbsp (15 g) all-purpose flour
1/2 (5 g) teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 (5 g) tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp (2 g) hot smoked paprika (optional)
1 tsp (5 g) Dijon mustard
2 cups (473 ml) whole milk or cream
1 cup (30 g) spinach or baby kale, roughly chopped.
1/4 cup basil pesto (store bought or homemade)
Basil, to top
1/4 cup (30 g) seasoned panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp (14 g) grated parmesan cheese
1 sprig basil, thinly sliced
2 tsp (30 ml) olive oil
Preheat oven to 400F.
Cook the pasta according to the package instructions, less one minute. Drain and set aside.
In a dutch oven, skillet, or oven-proof pan, heat butter over medium-high heat.
When the butter is melted, add flour and spices. Cook over medium heat, whisking often, until bubbly and golden.
Pour in cream. Cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking frequently to avoid clumps, until thickened slightly. Stir in Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper.
Add cheddar and parmesan and whisk until smooth. Sauce should be creamy and thick. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
To the pot with the cheese sauce, fold in cooked pasta and spinach. Stir until pasta is fully coated with the cheese sauce. Gently swirl in pesto (don’t over-mix).
In a medium bowl, combine panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, basil and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Scatter topping in an even layer over the Mac & Cheese.
Transfer Mac & Cheese to the middle oven rack. Bake for 15-20 min, until the topping is golden-brown and the cheese is bubbling. Serve with fresh basil sprinkled over top. Enjoy!