This will be my final Pesto post in this series utilizing my pesto recipe. And yes, you read that right. souffléd macaroni and cheese. I repeat souffléd macaroni and cheese. To top it off? A crispy, crunchy, buttery layer of pesto infused bread crumbs. It’s smooth, creamy, crunchy, plus light & rich all at once. I love it. Plus YEAH PESTO!
PESTO CRUSTED SOUFFLED MAC
- 2 cups cooked elbow macaroni
or any pasta you like
- 3 tablespoons butter, plus additional for
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon each, Salt and black pepper – or to taste
- 1 teaspoon each paprika and mustard powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
or any cheese you like
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- heaping 1/4 cup pesto
- 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
Directions: Preheat oven to 350.
Cook pasta according to package directions, set aside. Or cook while you prepare the sauce below:
In a saucepan melt the butter over medium heat, add flour; whisk and cook for about a minute. Pour milk into roux, while whisking to prevent lumps; add paprika, mustard powder, salt & pepper. Stir sauce and continue cooking over medium heat until it thickens. Remove from heat, stir in cheese; continue stirring until melted. In a small bowl beat the egg yolks, temper with a couple Tablespoons of cheese sauce before adding to full batch. Add cooked pasta and stir well; set aside.
In a large bowl whisk egg white to stiff peaks; pour onto macaroni mixture and very gently fold in to incorporate. Transfer to buttered ramekins or a large buttered baking dish.
It looks weird and crazy, but trust me it is going to be great!
For the topping:
In a medium dish combine topping ingredients and sprinkle in an even layer over the souffléd mixture.
Bake on the middle rack for 15 to 25 minutes or until the surface turns golden and bubbly. Time will vary depending on size of your dish(es).
Mine took 23 minutes. Best served same day.
I can not rave about this dish enough. And I know, I know at this point you are all pesto’d out. But, it is truly delightful and a feast for the senses. The pesto really comes through in the crunchy topping which is a great contrast to the silky light macaroni.
As for the leftovers, the flavor only got better with time, but the texture and consistency didn’t hold up to its original glory.
Presto, Presto, no more Pesto,