Thursday, September 4, 2008

Cottage Cheese Casserole

I'm feeling much more rested today - nine hours of sleep will do that! So here is the recipe I promised.

When I was 20 years old, I went to live with a family in Washington DC as their nanny. I had a fabulous time and learned many things. The family was vegetarians and I cooked dinner for them during the week so I learned lots of great vegetarian recipes. This one was one of their favorites, and now it's one of mine.

This takes some time but read the notes at the end, because I figured out a way to make it much faster!! It makes a lot, but it reheats well. Plus, it is very, very cheap!!

This recipe is from one of my favorite cookbooks "More With Less Cookbook," by Doris Janzen Longacre.

Cottage Cheese Casserole

Saute in a large skillet:

2 Tbs. margarine
1/2 C. chopped mushrooms
1/2 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced

Stir in:

1/4 tsp marjoram, crushed
4 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. tomato paste
4 c. elbow macaroni
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar

Simmer until macaroni is tender, about 25 minutes.
Have ready:

1/4 c. parsley, chopped
2 c. cottage cheese
1/3 c. grated Parmesan cheese

Put half of the macaroni mixture in a greased 2 qt. casserole dish. Top with 1 c. cottage cheese and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Repeat layers. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes.

  • Sometimes I don't bother layering, I just mix it all together. Perhaps not as pretty, but it's quick.
  • I use one small can of tomato paste which is about 3/4 c.
  • 2 cups of cottage cheese is one 16 oz container.
  • I use the fake Parmesan cheese in the canister - I'm cheap, but it seems to work well.
  • I used penne pasta this last time because I was out of elbow macaroni. It was fine, but we like the macaroni better.
  • I was in a hurry last night so after I layered it, I microwaved it for about 10 minutes, then broiled it til the top was brown. It was impossible to tell I hadn't baked it for 40 minutes. I'll do it this way from now on.
  • I'd really like to try this with whole wheat pasta and see if it works, I'd really like the extra nutrition it would add.
  • I sometimes leave out the mushrooms if I don't have any. When I do put them in, I leave them fairly big so that the picky eaters can pick them out!


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