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Recipe Source: New York Times, 1/4/06

Prep/Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 pound elbow pasta, uncooked

Directions:

Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together.* Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

* Next time, I will puree everything without the milk, and then add it in. I think that will put a finer grind on the cottage cheese, so no lumps remain.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.