- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus 8 ounces
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (8-ounce) block Cheddar, grated
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Cooking spray
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium heat. Add the macaroni and cook until slightly underdone, or very al dente, about 7 minutes. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook, stirring constantly, until the roux turns a very pale golden color. Add the milk and whisk well to remove any lumps. Bring to a simmer over low heat.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, 1/4 cup of Parmesan, parsley and canola oil. Reserve.
Add the paprika, Cheddar, the remaining 8 ounces of grated Parmesan, the cottage cheese and salt and pepper, to taste, into the milk mixture. Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir to combine.
Reserve 3 cups for the Round 2 web recipe Spicy Macaroni and Cheese Bites.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch ovenproof baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in the macaroni and cheese and spread it evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with the bread crumb mixture and bake for about 30 minutes until the bread crumbs are toasted and golden.