Mac and Cheese with Pesto, Proscuitto and Peas

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Serving Size: 6

This is really rich! Serve small portions, and accompany with a salad.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, plus a little more for the pan
  • 6 slices prosciutto, cut into skinny strips
  • 0.5 Pound mozzarella (fresh or supermarket-style), grated (1 cup)
  • 1 Pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (4 cups)
  • 0.75 cup frozen peas, defrosted
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 0.25 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Pound penne rigate
  • 1 Quart whole milk
  • 0.5 cup pesto, preferably homemade

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and set it aside.
  2. Warm the milk in the microwave or in a saucepan set over medium-low heat.
  3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, following the package directions, until 3 minutes shy of al dente. The pasta should still have a bite to it. Drain, and shake out all the water.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until it is fully incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the warm milk and whisk gently over medium heat until the mixture has bubbled and thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the salt, pepper, mustard, peas, and most of the grated cheese, reserving about 1 cup. Add the pasta and toss to combine.
  6. Distribute half the mixture evenly in the prepared pan. Scatter the slices of prosciutto. Dollop teaspoon-fuls of pesto around the dish. Top with the resto of the mac mixture, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until bubbling and brown. Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

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