Pesto Mac and Goat Cheese

Recipe courtesy Aida Mollenkamp
TOTAL TIME: 25 min
Prep: 10 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 15 min
 
YIELD: 6 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus extra for baking dish
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 3/4 cups Parmesan
    • 1 pound mini pasta shells
    • 2 cups half-and-half
    • 16 ounces goat cheese
    • 1/2 cup pesto sauce, store-bought or home-made
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
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    Directions

    Butter a 2 quart baking dish. Preheat the broiler and arrange a rack on top.

    Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a small pan over low heat. In a large bowl add the garlic, basil, panko, and 1/4 cup of the Parmesan. Add the melted butter and toss to combine. Reserve.

    Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, put the half-and-half in a small pot and bring to a simmer over low heat. Simmer until reduced and slightly thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.

    Reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and drain the pasta. Put the pot over low heat and add the half-and-half mixture. When it simmers, add the goat cheese and whisk until smooth. Add in the remaining Parmesan and whisk until melted.

    Add the pasta and stir to coat. Stir in the pesto, reserved cooking water, salt, and pepper. Season with additional salt and freshly ground black pepper, if needed.

    Pour the pasta mixture into the buttered baking dish and top with the panko mixture. Put under the broiler until the mixture bubbles and the top is browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the broiler and let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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    5

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    • on October 28, 2012

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      I'm always on the outlook for recipes I can make for my college age vegetarian daughter. This one caught my eye because she loves mac & cheese, goat cheese and pesto. I made the full batch and sent most of it with my wife when she went to visit her at college. She gave containers to my daughter, her current roommate, and her previous roommate. All loved it and wanted the recipe so they can make it at the previous roommate's apartment (daughter still in the dorm. This must be delicious because it will be the first time any of them prepare a meal on a stove rather than a toaster oven or microwave. Wife and I agree that this is what grown up mac and cheese should be.

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