I had a craving for mac'n'cheese and for some reason I wanted to switch it up, try something different than my usual delicious mac'n'cheese. I still had some pesto sauce leftover from last week and so I knew I had to incorporate that basil theme into my mac'n'cheese. Plus, my friend recently gave me tons of fresh tomatoes from her garden and so I had to make myself some Bruschetta, which got me to thinking how great of an idea it would be to make a mac'n'cheese topped with fresh Bruschetta, yummm!!!! And so here is my creation. It was absolutely delicious. I highly recommend it.
5 cups uncooked pasta
2 Tbsp butter
3 cups milk
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp hot water
3 1/2 cups cheese (2 cups Mozzarella, 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan)
3 Tbsp pesto sauce
2 tsp each of garlic powder, dried basil (or minced basil leaves), garlic salt
2 cups bread crumbs (I used Panko breadcrumbs since they are crunchier)
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp garlic salt
1 Tbsp dried basil (or minced basil leaves)
1 Tbsp Mozzarella cheese
1 tsp Parmesan cheese
Balsamic vinegar reduction sauce:
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp white sugar (optional)
2 cups prepared Bruschetta
1. Cook pasta , drain and set aside. If you need to prepare Bruschetta, do so now so that it has time to chill.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a dutch oven, heat the milk and butter together until almost bubbling, stirring constantly with a whisk.
4. In a separate bowl, mix the cornstarch and water together until not lumpy, then pour into milk mixture. Stir constantly with a whisk until thickened.
5. Add cheese and pesto sauce and stir to melt. Add all spices. Combine together well.
9. Meanwhile, prepare balsamic reduction sauce. Pour the balsamic vinegar into a pan. Heat the pan to high heat, whisk balsamic briskly. Once it comes to a boil, start whisking constantly to prevent burning. The vinegar naturally sweetens when reduced, but if you like a sweet reduction, sprinkle in sugar now. Continue whisking until balsamic reduces by half, or until the balsamic takes on a syrupy quality. Set aside and allow to cool.