Gemelli, gemelli, gemelli… is there a word more fun to say? I love all the different kinds of pasta there are – fusilli, elbows, orecchiete – the list goes on! When I saw gemelli on the shelf, I knew I would like it. Being a chewy pasta person, the gemelli has a fun tubular shape coiled around itself… and it really maximizes the chew factor.

Using the pesto I made the other night, I decided to make a pesto mac n cheese… with a bare minimum of cheese and maximum flavor. Goat cheese, which is both creamy and very distinctly bold and flavorful, is a perfect companion for pesto. And since I am still recovering from a weekend‘s worth of decadent meals (family style Chinese, multiple cupcakes from Molly’s, way too many burgers, hot dogs, and cookies from our BBQ outing), I left out the cream, milk and butter and relied on the heat of the pasta and a bit of reserved pasta water to melt the cheese. Scrappy!

Pesto Macaroni Gemelli and (Goat) Cheese

  • 1 serving of gemelli (for me, a little less than 2/3 cup)
  • frozen peas (I love peas. I added a lot of these)
  • spoonful of goat cheese
  • spoonful of pesto
  • panko crumbs
  • salt, pepper

Boil the gemelli in salted water for 8 minutes, and then add the peas. Drain after a minute, reserving a bit of pasta water. Toss pasta and peas back into pot and mix in the goat cheese. Splash with a bit of pasta water if it seems too dry, then add the pesto. Salt and pepper to taste. Spoon into oven safe bowl, top with panko crumbs and broil it in the oven for about 4 mintues, being careful that the panko doesn’t burn. I also added some bits of mozzarella cheese, but the pasta really doesn’t need it, and the flavor is completely overpowered by the other ingredients. In other words, you won’t miss it.