Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese

DSC02746I was really excited about this recipe and the combination of two of my spring favorites—asparagus and ramps—with mac ‘n cheese. I really like the flavor from the ramp pesto, and the addition of gruyere cheese and a bit of grainy mustard truly put this dish over the top. Thankfully, this recipe makes enough mac ‘n cheese to feed a family, or plenty of leftovers for two. I’ll definitely be adding this one to my repertoire. It’s springtime comfort food at its finest!

Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese (from Closet Cooking; serves 4-6)

4 cups water
1 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cleaned, reserving the stems
1 pound pasta, your choice
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups gruyere cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon grainy mustard
1/2 cup ramp pesto
1 cup gruyere cheese, grated

Bring the water and reserved asparagus stems to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes then remove the stems from the water.

Add the asparagus to the water and simmer until just tender, about 2 minutes.

Remove the asparagus from the water and set aside, reserving 2 cup of the water.

Start cooking the pasta as directed on the package.

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until it is bubbling and it has turned a light golden brown.

Mix in the flour and let simmer until it returns to a light golden brown.

Mix in the reserved asparagus water and cheese and heat until the sauce has thickened and the cheese has melted.

Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and mix in the mustard, ramp pesto, cooked pasta and asparagus, and pour the mixture into a baking dish.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake in a preheated 350 degrees F oven until golden brown on the top and bubbling on the sides, about 30-40 minutes.
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Category: Kristin's Kitchen 4 comments »

4 Responses to “Asparagus and Ramp Pesto Mac ‘n Cheese”

  1. Susan

    I just need to say that I regularly try many of your suggested dishes. And I’m not a huge fan of cooking!

    Thanks for the fun and inspiration!

  2. kristin

    Thanks so much, Susan! I’m glad you enjoy some of the recipes. Hopefully you’re starting to enjoy cooking more than you thought :)

  3. Susan

    Thank you. I am, actually! A question: Did not find ramp pesto, so using basil. But where do you find it, if you do not make it yourself (which I assume you do!).
    We just made the rhubarb/chard dish. Wow. Love it.

    Susan

  4. kristin

    Hi Susan – I used this recipe for the ramp pesto: http://www.closetcooking.com/2009/05/wild-leek-pesto-pasta.html

    Glad you enjoyed the rhubarb/chard dish. I really liked that one, too!


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