Pesto Toma Mac & Cheese

Pesto Toma Mac & Cheese

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Pesto Toma Mac & Cheese
Serves 8
 
1 pound elbow macaroni or other tubular pasta
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
5 ½ cups milk
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup basil pesto (homemade or store-bought)
4 ½ cups (about 18 ounces) grated Toma
6-8 slices of 1 or 2 different heirloom tomatoes (the more color, the better!)
Whole fresh basil leaves for garnish
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
 
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add a few pinches of salt to the water.  Add macaroni. Cook until al dente, about 2 minutes less than the package directions.  (Pasta will cook more in the oven.). Rinse macaroni under cold water and drain well. Set aside. 
 
In a medium saucepan, heat milk over medium heat. Separately, in another saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. When butter bubbles, add flour. Cook, stirring, about one minute.  While whisking, slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and becomes thick, a few minutes more.  Turn off heat.  Stir in salt, black pepper, pesto and Toma.
 
In a large mixing bowl combine cooked macaroni with hot cheese sauce.  Pour mixture into a 4-quart baking dish.  Top with heirloom tomato slices.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, until bubbly.  Remove from oven, top with fresh basil, and serve hot. 

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