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      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.