Creamy Pesto Macaroni

Creamy Pesto Macaroni

I wanted to try making it ever since I noticed my son liked a ‘Creamy Pesto Chicken Pasta’ from a local Italian restaurant. That inspired me try making Basil Pesto Sauce and this is what I made first using the Pesto sauce. This is not a perfectly low calorie dish. I can say it might be lighter than what I have looked online for an easy Alfredo or white sauce. It makes a creamy, indulgent and very flavorful pasta (thanks to the Basil Pesto) that I think everyone should enjoy once in a while. I used elbow macaroni as my son prefers it over Penne and other bigger pasta. You can use any pasta shape of your choice.

You need:

1/2 cup elbow macaroni
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1 tbsp Butter
1/2 tbsp all purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cube (about 1 tbsp) Basil Pesto (I froze the Pesto I made in an ice cube tray!)
1/4 cup cream
1 cup milk
1 cup water (reserved after boiling pasta)
3-4 florets broccoli (optional)
salt to taste
black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Boil pasta as per package instructions. Drain and reserve about 1 cup water. (I added the broccoli florets along with pasta so they get really tender by the time the pasta gets cooked. This is a good trick when you want to sneak in some vegetables)
2. Heat butter in a medium sauce pan, add flour and stir briskly using a wire whisk.
3. Add garlic and saute for few seconds.
4. Add cream and Parmesan cheese and blend well until creamy.
5. Add milk, water and salt and bring it to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes.
6. Stir in Pesto Sauce, and then macaroni and cook for another couple of minutes. (Before adding in pasta, I mashed the broccoli with a fork and as you can see in the picture it blended nicely with the slightly green sauce)
7. Cook few more minutes if you want to thicken the sauce more, however it does thicken a bit as it cools down anyways.
8. Serve hot and garnish with some freshly grated Parmesan Cheese. Sprinkle some black pepper to add a little kick.
Black pepper can be mixed in when cooking the sauce as well but to keep the recipe ‘toddler friendly’ I preferred adding it while serving it for adults!

Enjoy! And yes, my son did enjoy his dinner very much so I am happily tagging this recipe is ‘Toddler Friendly’.

Creamy Pesto Macaroni

Creamy Pesto Macaroni

Tip: Stir in grilled chicken towards the end of the cooking to make it ‘Creamy Pesto Chicken pasta!’. Serve as is to the little ones and with a side of garden salad and sour dough bread for yourself.