Baked Mac and Cheese: The Mancatcher

18 Oct

Or – How to Make Your Apartment Smell Like Asiago for Three Days

I’m not really the June Cleaver type. Ok, my apartment is adorable and I made my own curtains BUT I also love my job and don’t love babies or constricting gender roles. REGARDLESS. Sometimes playing house is great fun. So when Oxford Comma came over last weekend I decided to pull out all the stops. (He already made me a delicious dinner the week prior anyway.) Folks, the way to a man’s heart is through a four-cheese blend melted into al dente ziti.

The first time I made this recipe (adapted from Smitten Kitchen) I didn’t have enough cheddar so I threw in all the cheeses in my refrigerator. It worked out stupendously. And I have this Cajun seasoning blend I’m addicted to so it goes on EVERYTHING. So here goes, Polly’s man-trapping mac and cheese:

Ingredients:

1 cup cottage cheese (You pick how much fat you want in there.)
2 cups milk (Samezies.)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch McCormick Cajun Seasoning (Or generous heapings, according to taste.) ((Ed. Note: or. OR. Old Bay if you’re Penny.))
Pinch nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
About 8 oz shredded sharp or extra-sharp cheddar (Extra-sharp, duh.)
About 5 oz shredded asiago
About 3 oz grated gouda
1/2 pound ziti, uncooked

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 375 and grease a 9″ baking dish.
2. Blend the cottage cheese, milk, and seasonings in a food processor.
3. Mix all the grated and shredded cheeses together and set aside 1/4 cup.
4. Stir the milk/cottage cheese mixture, shredded cheese mixture, and uncooked ziti in the baking dish.
5. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the cover, stir gently, and sprinkle on the remaining cheese. (This is how you get that cheesy golden crust without breadcrumbs.)
7. Bake for another 30 minutes.
8. EAT while watching Hocus Pocus and gradually pass out from your food coma.

And now you’re mine!

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