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.