A Better Mac n Cheese from Two Peas and Their Pod! | Richmond Moms

 

If your kids are like ours, you have some serious mac ‘n cheese connoisseurs in your house. And as parents, we’re always looking to boost the nutrition in this dinnertime staple. We’ve been known to stir in some peas, (very fined) chopped spinach, and even pureed carrots or butternut squash. When we saw this pesto-infused version from Two Peas & Their Pod, we knew we had to try it! “I usually make a salad for myself on mac and cheese night, unless this version is on the menu—then I grab a bowl and join my boys. This easy ‘gourmet’ version of the classic is my personal favorite, and yet it takes just as little time as the boxed kind to prepare,” says cookbook author and mom of two boys Maria Lichty.  “It gets its creaminess from Havarti cheese (a soft cow’s milk cheese that is super melty and gooey—you could also use mozzarella), plus a boost from fresh spinach-basil pesto. At first the boys were wary because their mac wasn’t orange, but after one bite they were yelling for more. Now it’s a family favorite that we all get excited for.”

 

 

PESTO-HAVARTI MAC AND CHEESE

prep: 5 MINUTES | cook: 15 MINUTES | total: 20 MINUTES | serves 6

 

Ingredients:

 

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups (12 ounces) whole-wheat elbow macaroni (orecchiette also works well)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 cups shredded Havarti or mozzarella cheese
  • 3 tablespoons Spinach-Pesto (recipe in book or store-bought)

 

 

Directions:

 

1) Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain the pasta and set aside.

2) In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and whisk in the flour to create a paste. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Increase the heat to medium and continue whisking until the sauce starts to thicken, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shredded cheese and continue stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. Fold in the pesto.

3) Add the pasta, stirring to combine, and cook just until the pasta is warmed through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

NOTE: This dish is a great blank canvas for all kinds of mix-ins, such as cooked chicken, broccoli, or frozen peas. And a fun variation is to turn the mac and cheese into a crunchy-topped baked casserole: Just pour the finished mac and cheese into a baking dish, sprinkle panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the top, and broil for 3 minutes, until the bread crumbs are golden brown.

 

 

 

Excerpted from TWO PEAS & THEIR POD COOKBOOK. Copyright 2019 Maria Lichty. Reprinted with permission from Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.

Top Rain Jacket Picks for Moms

Top Rain Jacket Picks for Moms

The days are getting longer, flowers are blooming…Spring is here (finally)! But just when temperatures start rising and the deep winter brain fog starts to clear, the rain starts. And it just doesn’t stop. We’re here to help you combine some retail therapy with a...

Spring Must Haves

Spring Must Haves

Anyone else *more* than ready to swap winter coats and sweaters for spring dresses and tops? We asked designer Katie Fong Biglin, for her go-to picks for the season. All of them are mom-friendly (read: easy to style) and many of them are perfect for pregnancy and...

Easy Fresh Spring Salad

Easy Fresh Spring Salad

With the weather warming up and schedules getting busier, we're all about throwing together quick salads—and this spring version from Rachael Mahoney of Kinney Lane, a Greenwich, CT-based healthy prepared meal delivery business, is at the top of our list. "This salad...

Join The Local Moms Network Community

Stay up-to-date with what is happening in-and-around The Local Moms Network community with local events, community highlights, and exclusive deals.