Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

1 Jan

Mac n' cheese I got this recipe from the New York Times, and loved it because it’s so easy – no need to cook the mac or make a cheese sauce. The original recipe said not to use skim milk or lowfat cottage cheese, but that’s what we usually have on hand and so that’s what I usually use – and it comes out great. The recipe uses so much cheese that I figured I’d save calories where I could! I use an immersion blender to mix the milk, cheeses and spices.

Ingredients:

2 Tbs butter or margarine
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups milk
1 tsp dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ pound elbow pasta, uncooked
¼ tsp paprika

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Grease a 9-inch round or square baking pan with 1 tablespoon of butter or margarine (or use cooking spray).

In a blender, or with an immersion blender, purée the cottage cheese, all the cheese except for ¼ cup,the  milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper together. You’ll use the reserved ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine the milk-cheese mixture and uncooked pasta (or you can combine them right in the baking pan). Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover the pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and paprika and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake uncovered 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

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