Caprese Macaroni and Cheese: Creamy and delicious Macaroni and Cheese made with a mozzarella cheese-sauce, basil pesto, and fresh tomatoes.
Hi, guys! Happy Sunday!!
True story. I won my first Spelling Bee in the 5th grade, but I didn’t speak English. I had been in the States for about 5 months and the teacher thought that it would be SO inspiring to put me up there, as the little foreigner that could.
I practiced and practiced, reading the dictionary from A to Z…
Ok, that’s a lie. It was from A to D. I read every.word. AND memorized how to spell every.word. The hell if I was going to go up on that stage and embarrass myself. I spent my entire Spring Break hanging out with Merriam-Webster. That sounds more dramatic than it really was.
Long story short, the word was “beautiful”. I won because I spelled out “beautiful” correctly. Apparently, it’s a hard word to spell. I wouldn’t know.
Speaking of beautiful… want some Caprese Macaroni and Cheese?!
…I really know how to make an introduction…
Clearly, I’ve lost my mind. What was I thinking turning on the oven in mid-end-of-July. It is a scorcher out there! Yet, for the life of me, I can’t bake a batch of cookies. Or even a cake. I miss cake. But, it’s just too hot. Bring on the pasta.
I dunno. I just need carbs. Normally, I don’t. Normally, I eat a ton of salads, but sometimes, I just need to stuff my face with a bowl of mac and cheese. And a gazillion squares of dark chocolate. I heart dark chocolate. A fact that is nothing short of glorious.
And, while we’re still discussing delicious things, I’ll take a beer, some nachos, and a brownie. A la mode.
In other news… I have a basket full of homegrown tomatoes so I made you another Caprese Pasta Dinner concoction.
That being said, this amazing mac ‘n cheese ain’t the classic treat that you might expect. Think of it more like a grown-up, taken to the next level, prize-deserving macaroni and cheese.
It’s simple, not classic, and your family will definitely thank you for it.
- 8-oz. Elbow Macaroni
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼-cup all purpose flour
- ⅛ teaspoon chili powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- ½-cup tomato sauce
- 2 to 3 tomatoes, sliced
- 1 container (7-oz.) Basil Pesto
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Cook the macaroni according to the directions on the package.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together milk, vegetable broth, flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 5 minutes, or until sauce thickens.
- Remove from heat.
- Drain cooked pasta and return to pot.
- Add sauce to the pasta.
- Stir in 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese; stir until melted and well combined.
- Layer ½-cup tomato sauce on the bottom of the previously prepared baking dish.
- Add half of the macaroni mixture over the tomato sauce.
- Top with half of the tomato slices; season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle 1-cup shredded mozzarella cheese.
- Dollop on the basil pesto.
- Top with the remaining pasta.
- Add the rest of the tomato slices; season with salt and pepper.
- Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, or until bubbly and cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven.
- Let stand 15 minutes.
- Cut and serve.