Originally published in our January 2013 issue. Photo by Andrew Grinton.
Kale Pesto Mac and Cheese
Your kids will eat kale when it's presented in a bowl of mac and cheese that's studded with crunchy breadcrumbs. They'll probably even ask for seconds.
- 1 450 g pkg short pasta , such as macaroni or farfalle
- 1 large bunch kale , stems and ribs removed
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 3 1/2 cups milk , warmed
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 cups grated aged cheddar
- 2 cups Gruyere
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
- 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsely , chopped
- 2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tsp olive oil
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain.
- Steam kale for 5 min or until tender. Let cool, then squeeze out excess liquid and chop finely. Set aside.
- Heat butter in a pot over medium. Add onion and sauté for 2 min or until softened. Add garlic and sauté for 1 min longer. Add flour and cayenne and cook, stirring constantly for 2 min to cook out floury taste. Add milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until sauce is smooth and milk is fully incorporated. Stir in mustard. Bring to a boil and cook for 1 min or until thickened.
- Remove from heat and add cheddar and Parmesan cheese a handful a time, stirring until melted and incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add kale and Italian parsley
- Combine sauce with cooked pasta and pile into buttered ramekins or a buttered 9 x 13-in. casserole dish.
- Toss bread crumbs with olive oil until moistened and sprinkle over pasta. Bake for 30 min or until sauce is bubbling.
Substitute 2 cups Gruyère cheese for 2 cups white cheddar cheese.
Nutrition (per serving)
- 34 g,
- 65 g,
- 35 g,
- 6 g,
- 556 mg.