It does take a little more effort than box macaroni, but it's totally worth it. Besides, it doesn't really take any more time, because you make the sauce while the noodles cook! The added cottage cheese keeps it creamy and cheesy even with less cheddar, no butter, and less oil. If you want to bake it, sprinkle some buttered bread crumbs on top and bake it in a greased dish at 350F for 30-35 minutes. I'm usually too much in a hurry to want to wait for it to finish baking, so stove top macaroni is king at our house!
- 1 cup macaroni (or other smallish pasta)
- 1 cup frozen broccoli florets
- 3 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 teaspoons flour
- 1 1⁄2 cups milk
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (Frank's Red Hot)
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese, pureed
- 1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Cook pasta according to package directions, adding broccoli to the boiling water during the last 5 minutes of cooking time. Prepare cheese sauce while pasta and broccoli are cooking.
- Heat oil in a medium heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant (not more than 2 minutes). Sprinkle the flour over the onions and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is lightly golden.
- Gradually whisk in the milk, being careful to avoid lumps. Add the mustard and hot pepper sauce and bring the sauce to a simmer to thicken. Remove from heat, add cottage cheese and cheddar cheese and stir well.
- Dump in the (cooked and drained) macaroni and broccoli, stir once more, and then allow to stand, covered, for 5-10 minutes. The sauce will thicken even more as it stands with the pasta.
- Season to taste.
I really liked the combination of cottage cheese, grated cheese, broccoli and pasta here. It all went together perfectly and tasted so yummy! Very quick and easy to make as well and perfect for a quick week-night dinner fix without canned stuff. I left out the mustard and hot sauce, but used an Italian herb blend instead of it. It tasted lovely! I didnt bother pureeing my cottage cheese and maybe thats why my sauce didnt turn out quite as creamy as the others', but I liked it nonetheless. :) Thanks for sharing this winner of a recipe, Jess!
Loved the inclusion of broccoli and decided also to include one leek with a large onion and 3 cloves of garlic - because we love the blend of those three together. I used low-fat milk but regular cheese, halved the mustard and omitted the hot sauce (zero tolerance of anything hot). Having omitted the hot sauce, I added some herbs: rosemary, sage and thyme. This dish was very quick to prepare and wonderfully creamyI I cooked it entirely on the stove-top: with the recent heatwave (3 days in a row well over 40 degrees celsius; around 110+ fahrenheit) there was no way that I was going to turn on the oven! For us, this made four serves; two we've eaten (and thoroughly enjoyed) and two are in the freezer. Next time, I plan to at least double the recipe and I'll probably include some sliced mushrooms as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe, Jess. :) Made for PRMR.
We enjoyed this light mac n cheese dish - it easily fed three of us as a main dish last night (with leftovers for lunch today). I baked mine for 35 minutes and then let sit for 5 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.