Macaroni and Cheese with Spinach
12 ounce whole-wheat pasta shapes (3 cups)
4 Tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon olive oil
Dash of paprika
10 ounce package frozen spinach
1½ cups 1% milk, divided
3 Tablespoons flour
1½ cups grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 cup low-fat and low-sodium cottage cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to boil to cook pasta. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat an 11×13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook pasta in boiling water for about 8 minutes, or until not quite done (pasta will still cook while baking in oven). Drain pasta and set aside.
- Mix breadcrumbs, oil and paprika in a small bowl and set aside. Cook spinach according to package directions and drain. Set spinach aside.
- Heat 1¼ cups of milk in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, until steaming. Do not boil milk. Wisk remaining ¼ cup milk and flour in a small bowl until smooth; add mixture to the hot milk and stir constantly until the sauce simmers and thickens (about 2-3 minutes). Remove from heat and stir in cheddar cheese until melted. Stir in cottage cheese, add salt and pepper if desired.
- Add cheese mixture to cooked pasta and mix well. Spread half the pasta mixture into the baking dish and spoon spinach on top. Top with remaining pasta and breadcrumbs.
- Bake uncovered for 25 minutes; or until bubbly and golden brown.