Sunday, March 16, 2008

#2 Macaroni and Cheese Lite

This recipe is found in the updated 1970's classic The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. It isn't anything like classic mac and cheese but so tasty with caraway seeds, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, buttermilk and cottage cheese. I made it with brown rice noodles so it's easily wheat-free. The kids didn't like having to pick through the "green stuff" but Brent had two huge helpings.

Yield: at least 6 servings

1/2 lb (approx. 3 c) dry brown rice pasta - a short substantial shape, like fusilli, penne, macaroni
2 T butter or margarine
2 c chopped onion
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
4 c shredded cabbage (about 1/2 average head)
1 t salt
1 t caraway seeds
1 bunch fresh spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 lb (2 c) low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 c buttermilk
2 t dried dill, finely minced
fresh black pepper, to taste
2 c (packed) grated cheddar
a handful of sunflower seeds

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.

2. Cook the pasta until just barely tender. Drain thoroughly, and transfer to a large bowl.

3. Melt the butter in a large, deep skillet, and add the onions. After sautéeing for about 5 minutes, add garlic, mushrooms, cabbage, salt, and caraway. Stir, cover, and cook until the cabbage is just tender (10 minutes). Stir in spinach, and remove from heat. Add to the pasta.

4. Stir in cottage cheese, buttermilk, dill, black pepper, and half of the cheddar. Taste to adjust seasonings, and spread into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheddar and a few sunflower seeds, and bake uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes, or until heated through.

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