3 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 16-ounce package frozen spinach, thawed
1 3/4 cups low fat milk, divided
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 cups sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups whole wheat elbow macaroni
Method of Preparation:
1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Coat an 8-inch-square baking dish with cooking spray. Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in small bowl. Place spinach in fine-mesh strainer and press out excess moisture.
2. Heat 1-1/2 cups milk in large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until steaming.
3. Whisk remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add to hot milk and cook, whisking constantly, until sauce simmers and thickens, 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cheddar until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
4. Cook pasta for 4 minutes, or until not quite tender. Drain and add to cheese sauce; mix well. Spread half of pasta mixture in prepared baking dish. Spoon spinach on top. Top with remaining pasta; sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture.
5. Bake casserole until bubbly and golden, 25-30 minutes.
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