easy baked macaroni-and-cheese

I don't think you can go wrong when you combine pasta and mounds of cheese. This recipe for baked macaroni-and-cheese is very easy to make...you don't even have to pre-cook the pasta. This is Monkey-approved as he delights in its superb cheesiness.

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups 2% milk
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups old cheddar cheese, grated
2 cups elbow pasta, uncooked (you can also use 2 1/2 cups penne pasta)

Preheat oven to 375◦F and position an oven rack in upper third of oven.

Use one tablespoon butter to grease casserole dish.

In blender, mix cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, salt and pepper.

Reserve 1/4 cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into casserole dish, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake uncovered an additional 30 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

To make up for the lack of vegetables, I usually serve this with a big green salad or sauteed spinach.

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