A Better-for-You Mac & Cheese
As with the Three Grilled Cheese, I use a little low-fat sharp cheddar for cheesiness, but I heighten flavor with an equal amount of naturally low-fat goat, feta or blue. Instead of sour cream or a rich white sauce I keep macaroni moist with good-for-you low-fat cottage cheese and Greek yogurt.
Makes a 13- by 9-inch pan, serving 12
- 1 pound (16 ounces) pasta shells or macaroni
- 8 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 8 ounces crumbled goat, feta or buttermilk blue cheese
- 1 container (16 ounces) low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 container (16 ounces) Greek yogurt
- Ground black pepper
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to boil in a large soup kettle over high heat. Using package directions as a guide, and stirring frequently at first to keep it from sticking, boil pasta, partially covered, until just tender. Drain.
Meanwhile, mix cheeses and yogurt in a large bowl. Add hot pasta; toss to coat. Adjust seasonings, including pepper. Turn in to a vegetable spray-coated 13- by 9-inch baking dish.
Mix breadcrumbs, parsley and butter. Sprinkle evenly over shells and cheese. Bake until casserole is bubbly and crumbs are golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve.
Rather than sprinkle the pizza with lots of grated mozzarella, I spread a little garlic-flavored ricotta over the dough before adding the tomatoes, keeping the pizza moist and flavorful. Sprinkling the mozzarella over the pizzas near the end of baking keeps the cheese moist and gooey.
- 1 pound store-bought pizza dough
- Cornmeal for sprinkling on baking sheet
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 2 large garlic cloves
- 3 medium tomatoes, sliced thin and lightly salted
- 1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 ounces grated part-skim mozzarella
Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 500 degrees. Cut dough into 4 equal pieces and stretch each quarter into an approximate 12-inch by 4-inch rectangle, laying all 4 crosswise on a large cornmeal-coated baking sheet.
Mix ricotta, milk and garlic in a small bowl; spread a portion of ricotta over each piece of dough and then top with tomatoes. Bake until pizzas are golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss basil with olive oil. Sprinkle pizzas with a portion of cheese and basil. Return to oven and continue to bake until cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Top bake until pizzas are crisp and golden brown. Remove from oven, cut into portions and serve.
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