Monday, May 01, 2006

Old Skool Macs and Cheese: Recipe

The first time Jeff and I tried to make this recipe from The New York Times, I looked it over and was all, "There's a mistake in here. They don't even tell you to cook the pasta before you bake it!"

Turns out... That's the total glory of this recipe. You just mix everything together with the dry pasta and then pop it in the oven. The pasta cooks in the goop.

And man, what tasty goop it is. Mmm. You can experiment with the type of cheese, too. Jeff and I used a combo of mild cheddar and a bit of gorgonzola for some zing. Yummy.

I've never tried a vegan version, but if there's a vegan out there who's willing to experiment with this: some soy milk, soy cheese and maybe some nutritional yeast? Let me know! I'd love to post a vegan version of this truly awesome take on an old classic.

Old Skool Macaroni and Cheese

1 tablespoon butter, divided

1 cup cottage cheese (not low-fat)

2 cups low-fat milk (or any type except skim)

1 teaspoon dry mustard

Pinch cayenne

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use butter to coat a 9-inch baking dish, reserving remainder.

2. In a blender, puree cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Set aside.

3. Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining cheese, milk mixture and pasta. Transfer to baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 30 minutes.

4. Uncover dish, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining butter. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

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