Creamy Crusty Macaroni and Cheese
This creamy version has one powerful advantage for the cook: it is made with dry pasta, so there's no need for precooking. The pasta cooks in the oven, absorbing the liquid from the dairy products.Yield: 6-8 Servings
|1 cup||4% cottage cheese (not lowfat)|
|2 cups||whole milk|
|1 teaspoon||dry mustard|
|1 pinch||cayenne pepper|
|pinch||freshly grated nutmeg|
|1/4 teaspoon||freshly ground black pepper|
|1 pound||sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated|
|1/2 pound||elbow pasta, uncooked|
Step 1: Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.
Step 2: In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.
Step 3: Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.