Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cooking Adventures: Caprese Mac

So, the other night I had a brainstorm... and it led to what may be one of the best culinary inventions I've had so far... I took my favorite thing in the world, macaroni and cheese... and combined it with my favorite salad, caprese, and now I feel brilliant. Because, well, yum. Anyway, it's not really an exact recipe, but here's what I did... and you'll get the idea.

For starters, I made a roux in a saucepan by melting two tablespoons of butter and combining it with two tablespoons of flour. Then I added 1/2 a cup of milk and wisked until the roux dissolved into the milk. Then I added the cheese. You can add whatever you want, but i did about a 1/4 cup of mozzarella and then a few tablespoons of parmegiano reggiano and romano. The mozzarella is kind of non-negotiable because that's a key ingredient of caprese, but beyond that you can basically do what you want. I also seasoned with a pinch of salt. If you don't add the parmegiano reggiano, you'll probably need more salt. Then I added about four tablespoons of pesto. Jarred is fine, I guess. But I used the stuff I preserved over the summer. When I make pesto, I usually freeze it in ice cube trays and then put the cubes in a zipper bag in the freezer. It's perfect because each cube is about two tablespoons.
You should turn off the heat while you add the pesto. Too much heat can turn basil black and it looks a little gross. Toss the sauce with some cooked pasta. I used elbows, but just because I already had some cooked in the fridge. I think twisty pasta works well though, because it holds the sauce better.
The final touch is to chop up a seeded tomato and add that. I used the last of the fresh tomatoes from my garden. Just make sure to remove the seeds or the whole thing will end up too soupy. If tomatoes are not in season, you could always add a can of diced tomatoes, just make sure to drain off the juices first.
I don't have any pictures because, well, I ate it too fast. But trust me, this creates a delicious bowl of gooey goodness. The sauce has a creamy pale green color and a nice pop of brightness form the tomatoes. Soooo good.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds great! I'll have to
    make it for my family soon.