Baked Mac and Cheese

Serves 4


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.