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We're feasting on this Caprese Mac and Cheese over at FeedfeedBrooklyn after Chef David Elkin from Murray's Cheese came to make it with our Editorial Director Jake Cohen!
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Yield: Serves or Makes 6
Place the pine nuts, garlic, and basil, and a pinch of kosher salt into a blender. Process until the nuts have just broken up. Slowly stream in the olive oil with the blender turned on.
Season the pesto with the grated cheese, black pepper, and more salt if necessary. Set aside.
Using cheesecloth and twine, make a sachet with the parmesan rinds, basil stems, sliced shallot, and smashed garlic.
Pour the milk into a medium sauce pot and place the sachet into the milk. Heat the milk over medium heat just until it begins to steam, whisking occasionally. Turn off the heat and let the milk steep for at least 8 minutes, then remove and discard the sachet. Add salt and cayenne.
Meanwhile, make a roux. Melt the butter in a medium pan over medium high heat. Once melted, add the flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Cook the roux for 2 minutes or until it smells slightly nutty.
Add the roux to the milk and whisk over medium heat until it begins to thicken. Whisk in the mozzarella and parmesan. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
Heat oven to 400ºF.
Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Season with 2 cups of kosher salt.
In a medium mixing bowl, toss the cherry tomatoes with the olive oil and season with salt and black pepper. Spread onto a tin foil-lined baking sheet and roast in the pre-heated oven for 10 to 12 minutes, or just until the tomatoes have some color.
While tomatoes are cooking, cook the pasta for 4-6 minutes or until al dente. Drain pasta.
Mix the mornay into the pasta, along with half of the roasted cherry tomatoes and half of the bocconcini. Transfer the pasta mixture to an oven-proof baking dish. Top the pasta with the remaining bocconcini and half of the grated parmesan.
Bake in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until the mozzarella has browned – you made need to broil the top to get a nice crust.
Once cooked, remove mac from oven and let cool for at least 5 minutes. Garnish the pasta with the remaining cherry tomatoes, dollops of basil pesto, the rest of the parmesan, and the basil leaves.