Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"lightened up" macaroni and cheese

aka cracked out macaroni and cheese (in a good way)

if you were able to read this month's issue of bon appetit without running into the kitchen to make mac and cheese, then you're a stronger person than me.

the only catch was that i just wanted to do it my way. and i wanted it to be a meal i could eat without feeling completely guilty about consuming a bowl of pasta and fat. yes, it's harsh i know but really, with what resulted there's no deprivation involved, i promise.
the big deal here is substituting nonfat yogurt for any milk, cream, and/or butter i would have otherwise used. and i guess you could go with low fat cheese however, i went with the "high-quality will go further" idea. since the cheese has a lot of flavor, you can use less of it and still be just as satisfied. the cheese and yogurt melt together to form the perfect cheesy sauce, no roux, eggs, cream or butter required.

cracked out, i mean lightened up mac and cheese
  • 8 oz pasta elbows (i used brown rice ones)
  • 2 links spicy chicken sausage, casing removed
  • 1/2 large bunch of broccoli rabe, sliced into 1-inch sections
  • olive oil
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
  • 1 teaspoon chili sauce
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 6 oz plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup gruyere, grated
  • 1/4 cup sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1-2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
  • preheat oven to 375.
  • cook the pasta until just undercooked.
  • while pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan.c ook sausage over medium-low heat, breaking up the pieces as it cooks.
  • when the sausage is cooked, set aside in a casserole dish.
  • add remaining olive oil to same pan. add shallots, garlic and broccoli rabe and cook over medium heat until the broccoli rabe is wilted. add to casserole dish.
  • mix cooked pasta, sausage, broccoli rabe, mustard, chili sauce, salt, pepper, gruyere, cheddar, and yogurt together in dish. top with Parmesan cheese.
  • bake for 15-20 minutes until heated through.

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