Thursday, February 2, 2012

911 mac and cheese

warm, tasty comfort

911 Mac and Cheese is fast and easy to assemble - perfect for a weeknight.  It falls into a category I call '911' - a quick-fix, wholesome side dish that satisfies everyone and can be assembled in a flash with ingredients most of us have on hand.  I'm a big fan of fancy macs (4 cheese mac and cheese, bacon mac and cheese, lobster mac and cheese ...) and will share some of those on a lazy weekend. But if you're facing a busy night - this recipe is for you!

I found this comforting gem in a foodie novel I'm reading, 'Julia's Child'. Look at the wholesome ingredients - great for hungry, active kids! We whipped it together and served it with turkey kielbasa (a favorite with my boys).  A quick crudite platter and some fruit rounded out the meal nicely. 

911: Mac and Cheese
from Julia's Child, by Sarah Pinneo


1 c cottage cheese
2 c whole milk
1 T Dijon mustard
pinch paprika (Hungarian)
4 c shredded cheese (I used a combination of Mozz & Cheddar)
8 oz dry pasta (I used mini-shells; 8 oz is 1/2 a box)

Tip: The key to this recipe's ease is the dry pasta.  Just like using dry noodles in lasagna, dry noodles save a step.

cottage cheese & milk mixture

1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. I sprayed the casserole dish with canola oil.

2. Combine the cottage cheese, milk, mustard, and paprika in a blender till smooth.

3. Toss the shredded cheese and dry pasta together in a large bowl.  Pour milk mixture over top and stir to combine.

4.  Pour into prepared dish, cover (I used foil - your dish may have a cover).

5. Bake for 30 minutes, remove cover and bake for 30 minutes more.  Will be brown and bubbly.

Scoop and serve - yummy!

shells & cheese

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