One of our favorite family-friendly restaurants in town is Ginger Man on the Ave, so we were thrilled when owner Christian Burns agreed to share their famous Pesto Mac & Cheese recipe, a menu staple at The Ginger Man as well as Cask Republic in Stamford. “The basil pesto (nut free) adds a fresh new twist to this classic mac & cheese,” says Burns. And of course, as a dad, he has a tip for picky eaters: “When making the recipe just leave out the pesto for those little ones who are afraid of anything green!”

Pesto Mac & Cheese

Serves 6-8 

Cheese sauce:

1 qt heavy cream 
8oz sharp cheddar cheese
8oz mozzarella cheese 
4oz goat cheese

 

Pesto: 

4 oz Parmesan cheese(grated)
6 oz fresh basil leaves 
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil 
2 cloves of garlic 

2 pounds of large elbow or small penne pasta 

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta as per package instructions, drain & reserve.

2. To make pesto: In a blender combine Parmesan garlic oil and basil. Purée till smooth. 

3. Add salt to taste. 

4. Bring heavy cream to a slow boil  (careful not to scorch)

5. Add all cheeses while whisking gently, lower heat 

6. Once all cheese is melted add pasta and turn off heat. 

7. Keep stirring until all the cheese has coated the pasta

8. Slowly incorporate the Pesto Sauce until sauce is bright green. 
9. Serve hot.

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