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!


Ingredients
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
Directions 
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!

Comments

  1. those are GORGEOUS bowls. where did you get them?

  2. I keep wanting to buy Wacky Mac but I cannot find it in the store. Now I am on a mission because I want to make this.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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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