Cheesy Pesto Bowtie Pasta

This recipe is a whole lot of wacky and a whole lot of yum!  
I recently purchased a few bags of Wacky Mac bowtie pasta at the grocery store with the intentions of trying to figure out a creative recipe with it.  The past few days when I would open my pantry I kept eyeing my Wacky Mac and knew it was soon time to burst open that bag and make something fun.
My initial intentions was to do a Summertime Mac and Cheese incorporating several types of cheese along with fresh roasted zucchini and summer squash.  Since I have several bags of Wacky Mac I will probably work on that recipe in the upcoming weeks.  When I was enjoying some time outside today and pruning back my flourishing basil and I decided that I would incorporate a basil pesto along with a macaroni and cheese to go along with this wacky pasta.  

With the twins taken care of by my food critic for the evening (my dear mother) off to the kitchen I went to start creating this recipe.  I thought the combination of pesto and mac and cheese would be delicious.  The subtle hint of fresh basil pesto combined with the creamy and mild mozzarella cheese is a fantastic combination.  
I serve this in four 12oz individual ramekins.  This can also be served in a casserole dish. The bowtie pasta can be substituted for other pasta such as elbow or penne.  
This makes a fantastic dish to serve to company or to my mom and I as we thought it was wonderful!
Mac & Cheese + Pesto = Delicious!

12oz package of bowtie pasta, cooked and drained 
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup basil leaves
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 small garlic clove
2 tablespoons pine nuts
5 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
4 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  
In food processor or blender combine basil, olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, garlic and pine nuts.  Blend until creamy and set aside.
In a large pot melt 3 tablespoons butter on low heat.  Stir in flour and salt and cook for 1 minute.  Gradually add in milk, stirring constantly until mixture is thickened.  Add in the 2 cups cheese and stir until melted.  Stir in pesto until combined well with cheese.  Stir in pasta.  
Melt additional 2 tablespoons butter and mix with bread crumbs
Spoon in to 12oz individual ramekins or in to a casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons parmesan and top with bread crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.  

Happy Cooking!


  1. says

    I live in the Buffalo area and I found these at my local Tops. For the longest time they were sold out and I finally saw them stocked on the shelves so I grabbed some. I got some for my twins too. I think they would like these as well.

  2. says

    Aren’t these bowl awesome! I love these. I got these a few years ago on QVC. They are from the Rachael Ray Bubble and Brown collection. They are great for making individual size dishes. I use them often; even for dips.

  3. Anonymous says

    this dish is just as delicious as it looks! Yumm, yumm! And gorgeous pictures too! Thanks for sharing this awesome creation! Love, mom xo

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