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.
Caprese Macaroni and Cheese
- 8- oz . Elbow Macaroni
- 1 cup milk
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4- cup all purpose flour
- 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
- salt and fresh ground pepper , to taste
- 3 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese , divided
- 1/2- 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 the meantime, prepare the sauce.
- 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 1/2-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.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.