Friday, November 5, 2010

Recipe: Almost Moosewood Mac & Cheese

Mac & Cheese, an essential autumn comfort food is really not much harder to make for real than out of the box.  The recipe our family uses started out with the Moosewood version but has changed a bit over the years.  I highly recommend any of Mollie Katzen’s cookbooks; the recipes are delicious, vegetarian and very easy to follow.  I grew up with The Enchanted Broccoli Forest and personally don’t think you should even attempt vegetarianism without it.  Well, the good sort of vegetarian, not the kind in 1st year college where you eat vegetable flavoured Mr. Noodles and bread for dinner every night.  Or Kraft Dinner for that matter.

You’ll need:
1 ½ cup cottage cheese
1 ½ cup milk
1 tsp dried mustard
¼ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
¼ teaspoon ground pepper
1 small onion finely chopped
1 block of extra old sharp cheddar grated
½ lb uncooked elbow macaroni (this is about ½ a bag)
¼ cup bread crumbs
some parsley (fresh or dried)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Butter up a pyrex baking dish.

In the food processor whizz up the onion and then set it aside. Next you need to combine the cottage cheese, the milk, and the spices, mix them up in the processor. Grate your cheese right into your mixture.  Throw the onion back in.  Pulse a few times then pour onto uncooked macaroni in a mixing bowl. You’ll switch from chopping blade to grater and back again.

Once everything is nicely coated, pour into your buttered baking dish.

Last but not least is a good covering of breadcrumbs.  You can buy these but I make them simply by toasting some (stale) bread, usually twice, then putting the toast in a bag and hitting it with the cast iron frying pan (also important in the vegetarian diet).  I like to add dried parsley during the smashing stage.

Then bake for 45 minutes

Here it is, a little overdone, but delicious and cheesy.  At my house I insist that we eat at least one vegetable with it, but really that's your call.

Roasted Brussels sprouts go really well with it.

If you don’t have a food processor you should get one.  But in the meantime; chop up your onion, grate your cheese and use a blender and this recipe will work just fine.


  1. Is it true that you don't have to cook the noodles first? Macaroni and I will make it this weekend!

  2. Yes! so easy! And here's a good link about cast iron pans and iron absorption for you too:

  3. That looks so good. I love my edges all brown and crusty like that...perfectly done in my opinion!