Mega Macaroni and Cheese
Mustard, onions, and pimentos put this dish in a class beyond ordinary macaroni and cheese.
Serves: 6 servings
- 8 ounces ziti pasta (about 3 cups)
- 2 1/2 cups skim or low-fat milk, divided
- 3 tablespoons unbleached flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon water
- 8 ounces nonfat or reduced-fat process Cheddar cheese or reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, shredded or diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 jar (2 ounces) chopped pimentos, drained
- 2 tablespoons seasoned dried bread crumbs
- Nonstick butter-flavored cooking spray
- Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain well, return to the pot, and cover to keep warm.
- While the pasta is cooking, place 1/2 cup of the milk and all of the flour, mustard, and pepper in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. Shake until smooth, and set aside.
- Place the onion and water in a 2-quart nonstick pot. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3 minutes, or until the onions are soft.
- Add the remaining 2 cups of milk to the pot, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the flour mixture, and cook, still stirring, for about 1 minute, or until the mixture begins to boil and thickens slightly. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the cheese, and stir just until the cheese has melted.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta. Add the pimentos, and toss to mix well. Coat a 2 1/2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray, and spread the pasta mixture evenly in the dish. Sprinkle the crumbs over the top, and spray the top with the cooking spray.
- Bake uncovered at 350°F for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly around the edges. Remove the dish from the oven, and let sit for 10 minutes before serving.
Excerpted from The Best-Kept Secrets of Healthy Cooking by Sandra Woodruff, R.D. Copyright © 2000 by Sandra Woodruff.
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