Irishman’s Mac and Cheese

A delightful and filling macaroni and cheese perfect for St. Patrick's day; drawing inspiration from the emerald isle, from the Irish cheese to the 1/2 cup of beer to the shimmering green kale.

Recipe from Half Baked Harvest.

-1 bunch kale, sliced into thin shreds
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1/3 cup pesto
-1/4 cup lemon juice
-1 pound medium shell pasta
-4 tablespoons butter
-1/4 cup flour
-1/2 cup beer, room temperature
-3 cups milk, room temperature
-2 1/2 cups Irish white cheddar cheese, shredded
-1 1/2 cups havarti cheese, shredded
-1 teaspoon mustard
-dash cayenne pepper
-salt and pepper
-potato chips

In a large bowl, massage kale in olive oil for two minutes. Add pesto, dash of salt, and lemon juice, and toss to coat evenly.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta al dente, drain and set pasta aside. In the same pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and stir for one minute. Add the beer and whisk again for another minute. Pour in the milk and bring up to a boil for three minutes, stirring periodically. Lower the heat and gradually add the cheese until it is all melted. Stir in 1/4 cup kale-pesto slaw, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper. Mix in the pasta shells, then transfer to a 9x13 baking dish, sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Top with a layer of potato chips and bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let sit for five minutes, and serve topped with additional kale-pesto slaw.

A wonderfully cheesy dish elevated by the light bitterness of the beer and aroma of basil. Perfectly creamy and filling, this makes for an excellent St. Patrick's day festive meal, or a good, comforting meal any day of the week.


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