How to make a lasagna mac n' cheese

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I love mac n' cheese, but it’s not a really a meal, and I confess, I rarely make a meal with more than one dish. I love casseroles, Buddha bowls, burritos, anything where dinner comes one convenient package. It’s not just about ease of preparation (although that’s certainly part of it) it’s also about creating complex flavors. I like my protein, starch and veggie together. I’ve seen macaroni versions that are complete meals—cheeseburger mac n' cheese, taco mac n' cheese—and I wanted to create my own, so I combine mac and cheese with another favorite pasta dish, lasagna. The result is creamy, cheesy, and full of Italian flavor.
Lasagna’s layers keep the textures distinct, but in mac and cheese, I used chunky ingredients—cottage cheese and diced tomatoes—to create bursts of contrasting flavor. the crunchy, garlicky breadcrumbs on top add another textural element and mimic the crisp edges of baked pasta.
Lasagna Mac n' cheese
15 minutes
1 hour
1 hour, 15 minutes
3 tablespoons (42 g) salted butter
1 lb. (450 g) macaroni noodles
½ (120 ml) cup milk
1 cup (225 g) cottage cheese
1 cup (115 g) mozzarella
1 cup (100 g) parmesan
14 oz. (400 g) canned diced tomatoes, drained
1 teaspoon (7 g) salt
½ teaspoon (1 g) white pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon (1 g) dried oregano
2 cups (125 g) breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 350°. Use about half a tablespoon of butter to grease the inside of 9 x 13 baking dish.
Cook the noodles in boiling salted water until just al dente and drain.
In a large bowl, toss noodles with milk, cheeses, tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Pour into prepared baking dish.
Melt remaining butter and toss with garlic, oregano and breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over pasta. Bake 1 hour.
Pro Tip: For a meaty version, add 1 lb. cooked and crumbled Italian sausage or ground beef to noodles in step 3.
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