A couple of months back I did a post on how to spice up boxed mac n cheese. It was a popular post so I decided to do another round. I know that homemade mac n cheese is the best, but we all have a box of mac in the cupboard. I am not too ashamed to admit it. Ok, maybe just a little bit. But, the blue box is cheap and tasty. Especially when you get home late from the bar. So here is my take on how to spice up boxed mac n cheese.
Fresh pesto tossed in with the mac n cheese adds an amazing flavor. You can barely tell that the cheese was once in powder form. Really.
- 1 box mac n cheese
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tbs milk
- dash of pepper
- handful of basil – roughly 1 cup
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 1-2 tbs pine nuts
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper
Boil water and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
While the pasta is cooking, place the pine nuts, basil and garlic into a food processor. Pulse until everything is finely chopped.
Next add the Parmesan and pulse again.
Now drizzle in the olive oil until you have a mixture that has a paste like texture. Then add just a bit more olive oil till the texture turns smooth. This should take between 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil. It depends on the quantity and size of the basil leaves.
Drain the pasta and return it to the pan. Add the pesto, cheese mix and 1tbs butter and 1tbs milk. This is less butter and milk than the box says, but since we are adding a wet pesto to the mac, if you make it according to the box directions you will end up with soup.
Finally stir and taste. Check the seasoning and serve.
Pesto Mac is quick and easy. Plus it takes an ordinarily alright mac n cheese and makes it extraordinary.