Cooking on the Ridge: Bacon White Cheddar Pesto Mac and Cheese
Prep 10 m
Cook 35 m
Ready In 45 m
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 2 1/2- or 3-quart baking dish.
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook elbow macaroni in the boiling water, stirring occasionally until tender yet firm to the bite, 8 minutes. Drain. Transfer pasta back to pot; cover and keep warm off heat.
- Place bacon in a large skillet and cook over medium-high heat, turning occasionally, until evenly browned and crisp, about 10 minutes. Drain bacon slices on paper towels. Crumble.
- Place butter and minced garlic in a saucepan over medium-high heat; stir until butter is melted. Whisk flour into butter mixture, and continue whisking until flour starts to turn golden brown, about 1 minute. Slowly add milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper to the saucepan, whisking until there are no lumps. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to medium.
- Stir grated Cheddar cheese into the cream mixture, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add basil pesto sauce and half of the crumbled bacon; stir. Transfer mixture to pot with cooked elbows; stir to combine. Pour into prepared baking dish.
- Mix panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese together in a bowl. Sprinkle topping evenly over macaroni and cheese.
- Bake in preheated oven until bubbly and just starting to brown, about 20 minutes. Top with remaining half of bacon.
- Preheat the oven’s broiler. Place baking dish under broiler until browned, 1 to 3 minutes. Garnish with chopped basil.