Pesto Mac N Cheese with Italian Sausage
8 oz cooked pasta (you want to use something with ridges or holes. I used Riccioli)
8 oz crumbled and cooked Italian sausage (I used hot Italian sausage)
2 TB butter
2 TB all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups half and half or milk (a bit more if sauce is too thick)
1/2 cup garlic and basil pesto
Salt and pepper to taste
4 oz muenster cheese, shredded
4 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese,shredded (or more if desired) for topping
Preheat the oven to 375' F. Spray a 1.5 quart oven safe dish with cooking spray. Pour the cooked pasta and the cooked sausage into the dish. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a sauce pan, melt the butter over a medium low heat. Whisk in the flour and continue whisking for a few minutes. Don't let the flour get too brown. Slowly whisk in the half and half (or milk if that's what you're using). Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens. Don't let this happen too quickly...you want to cook out the flour taste. Add the pesto, muenster and mozzarella cheeses and stir until melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the sauce over your pasta and sausage, stir just a bit to make sure it's everywhere. Top with Parmesan cheese
Bake for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned on top. Let cool for a few minutes before serving
Pairs Well With
This dish can easily be doubled and is sure to please any pesto lover! It's satisfying, flavorful and is bound to ease that oohie-gooie cheese craving that strikes every now and then.