This is one of my kid’s favourite dishes. Many people love pasta dishes and macaroni in particular can be a little bit bland, so I have added red pesto in the white sauce to get a nice flavour along with a good amount of spinach and sweet corn to make it a more wholesome dish. You can serve it with a salad or garlic bread. 

Red Pesto Macaroni

Serves 4

 

Ingredients

 

2 tbsp Butter

2 tbsp Plain Flour

1 Large Red Onion- Finely Chopped

2 Cloves Garlic- Finely Chopped

3 ½ Cups Milk

3 Cups Spinach- Very Finely Chopped (you could use a food processor)

Salt to Taste

Small Jar Red Pesto

Mature Cheddar Cheese- Grated - (The amount depends on how cheesy one likes it)

1 Large Can Sweet corn

Dried Macaroni- 8 Large Handfuls

1 Tomato for Decoration

 

Method

 

Boil the macaroni in salted water, according to the packet instructions. As a rule, I generally use 2 large handfuls of macaroni per person. So for this recipe I have used 8 handfuls. Once the macaroni has cooked, drain and add a drizzle of olive oil to stop the macaroni from sticking. Add the spinach and sweet corn and give it a mix. Leave aside.

To make the white sauce

 

Take a pan, add the butter and wait until it melts. Add the onion and garlic and cook until translucent. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds on a medium flame, stirring continuously. Gradually add the milk and increase the heat; it is very important that you keep stirring all the time, preferably with a hand whisk or the white sauce will get lumpy. Once the sauce starts to boil, turn off the heat. I do not like to over boil the sauce as it can become too thick. If you find your sauce is a bit thick, then just add a bit more milk to loosen; you will not need to re heat it at this stage. Add the pesto, reserving a little for decoration on top. Then add a small handful of grated cheese and salt.  Give this a final stir.

Take a baking dish; add the macaroni and the white sauce on top. Sprinkle some cheese and decorate with slices of tomato and the rest of the pesto. Bake in a pre heated oven at 200c until golden on top.

Serve with a salad or garlic ciabbata. Yum!!