Start A Petition
Group Discussions
| track thread
« Back to topics
Light Macaroni and Cheese
4 years ago

Best of America's Test Kitchen, 2007

Light Macaroni and Cheese

The Test Kitchen editors have cut the calories from the standard of 800 calories/serving to 450 calories/serving.  They claim the taste is completely unchanged unlike other lower calorie recipes.  Some of the Tasters actually thought they were eating the "real deal"(full fat version).




1/2 lb. dried macaroni, about 2 cups

1 12 oz. can of reduced fat evaporated milk

3/4 cup 2% milk

1/4 tsp. dried mustard

1/8 tsp. garlic powder or celery salt(optional)

Pinch of cayenne pepper

2 tsp. cornstarch

8 oz of 50% fat reduced cheddar cheese, grated(about 2 cups)



1.  Bring 2 1/2 quarts of water to a boil in a large saucepan for the pasta.   Add 2 tsp. salt and the pasta to the boiling water.  Cook stirring often until the pasta is completely cooked and tender.  Drain the pasta, leave it in the colander and set aside. 


2.  Add the evaoporated milk, 1/2 cup of the 2% milk, mustard, garlic powder, cayenne and 1/2 tsp. salt to the now empty saucepan.  Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to simmer.  Whisk the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of milk together then whisk into the simmering milk mixture.  Continue to simmer while whisking constantly until sauce has thickened and is smooth, about 2 minutes. 


3.   Off the heat, gradually whisk in the Cheddar cheese until melted and smooth.  Stir in the macaroni and let macaroni and cheese sit  off the heat until the sauce has thickened slightly, 2-5 minutes before serving.





Don't be tempted to use preshredded or non-fat  Cheddar cheese in this dish-the texture and flavor will suffer substantially.


We tested all options for the light Cheddar cheese and found Cabot 50% Light Cheddar to be the one the taste testers liked the most. 



My personal notes: I would increase the mustard powder to probably 1 tsp.  I would pour the mac and cheese into a casserole dish, sprinkle with buttered panko crumbs and broil for a few miniutes until a nice crisp and slightly browned crust forms.

Linguine, Crab, and Avocado with Scallion Vinaigrette
5 years ago

Linguine, Crab, and Avocado with Scallion Vinaigrette
from Quick from Scratch - Pasta


2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1-1/2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
2 scallions, white and light-green parts chopped, dark-green tops sliced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/3 cup cooking oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest (from about ½ lemon)
1 avocado, preferably Hass
3/4 pound linguine
1/2 pound lump crab meat, picked free of shell


In a blender, combine the ginger, lemon juice, vinegar, the chopped scallions, the soy sauce, oil, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Blend until smooth then stir in the lemon zest. Cut the avocado into 1/2" dice and add to the scallion vinaigrette.


In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until just done, about 12 minutes. Drain the pasta and toss it with the vinaigrette and avocado and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Gently fold in the crabmeat. Sprinkle with the sliced scallion tops. Serve warm.


Serves 4


Tip: As soon as the avocado is diced, put it into the vinaigrette. The acidity of the lemon juice and the vinegar will keep the avocado from browning if dinner is delayed.


Recipe: Linguine with Basil: West of the Rockies: Jr. League of Grand Junction, Colorado
5 years ago

Linguine with Basil


4 large tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 lb. Brie Cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes

1 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into strips

3-5 cloves of garlic minced

1 cup+1 TBSP. olive oil

2 1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 lbs. linguine

Parmesan cheese


Combine tomatoes, Brie, basil, garlic, olive oil and salt in a bowl.  Let marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.  Sauce will be served at room temperature.  So let stand on the counter after removing from the refrigerator, well ahead of serving time. 


Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain.


Line large bowl with spinach leaves.  Put linguine over spinach; pour sauce over pasta.  Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Serve.



Sorry, but this recipe doesn't give number of servings.  But I would say probably 6. 

Jr. League Cookbook Recipes
5 years ago

Jr. league cookbook recipes:  Things you should know.


It IS a community cookbook.  It is the best of the very, best of that very best, recipes for that area of the U.S.


You will not find these on the internet unless someone who actually has a Jr. League cookbook posts a recipe from one.


Some are better than others.  Pasadena,CA and San Francisco, CA are invariably better than Waco, Tx for example.  This is due to the sophistication and diversity of the populations submitting the recipes. 


It is a charitable organization to produce positive changes for their local community.  The cookbooks are usually more expensive then other Cookbooks, and the recipes jealously guarded against the internet.


Many local restaurants submit their recipes to this charitable cause as well.


Give them a closer look to see if is something you would like.



I will be posting from the Jr. League of Colorado.

Recipe: Mexican Syle Pasta Bake
5 years ago

Wow! some good recipes here. The Fettucini with Cream Sauce looks really good.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens: Simply Better Easy Casseroles: Kitchen tested-Great tasting

" Bow tie past teams up with Colby and Montery Jack cheese in a hearty Tex-Mex dish"

Prep time: 35 minutes
Bake time: 45 minutes

Makes 6 servings

12 oz dried bow tie pasta(about 5 cups)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup sweet Red bell pepper
3 TBSP. butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp. dried cilantro, chrushed
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups milk
6 oz Colby cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese(6 oz.)
1 cup salsa
1/2 cup pitted green/and or ripe olives
Chili powder

1. In 4 quart Dutch oven, cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return to pan.

2. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, cook onion and sweet pepper in hot butter over medium heat about 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in flour, cilantro, cumin, and salt. Sdd milk. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in Colby cheese and 1 cup of the Monterey Jack cheese until cheeses are melted. Pour overPasta; stir to combine.

3. In greased 3 quart casserole, layer half of the pasta mixture, all of the salsa and remaining pasta mixture.

4. To serve, preheat oven to 400F. Bake, covered aout 40 minutes or until bubbly around edges and heated through. Sprinkle with olives and remaining Monterey Jack cheese. Sprinkle lightly with chili powder. Bake, uncovered for 5 minutes more. Let stand ofr 5 minutes before serving.

PER SERVING: 593 calories 29g total fat(16g sat. fat), 884 mg sodium, 57g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 26g protein

Spaghetti Puttanesca
6 years ago

Spaghetti Puttanesca
from Le Cordon Bleu

1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 3/4 lb. tomatoes, peeled, seeded, chopped
1/4-1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons drained capers
1 cup pitted black olives
3/4 cup chicken broth or water
1-oz. can of anchovy fillets, drained, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 lb. dried spaghetti

In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over low heat and cook the garlic for 1 minutes, without browning. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, capers, olives and broth or water. Bring to a boil and cook over medium heat, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the cover and simmer for another 25 minutes. Once the sauce is cooked, mix in the anchovies, basil and parsley.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add a splash of oil to stop the pasta from sticking and cook the pasta according to the manufacturer's instructions. Drain and toss with the hot sauce and serve.

Serves 4

12 years ago
Linguine with Prosciutto and GorgonzolaServes 4–6
  • 1 pound of fresh linguine
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • One 1/4 inch-think slice of prosciutto, julienned
  • 1/2 cup drained, oil-packed, sun-dried tomatoes
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 lb Italian Gorgonzola
  • finely chopped flat-lead parsley

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine about 2 minutes, until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta to the pot, cover partially and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and cook over moderate heat for about a minute. Stir in the prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes. Season with crushed red pepper, salt and pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/4cup of the chicken stalk and stir up any brown bits clinging to the bottom of the pan. Pour the sauce over the pasta and toss well.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock and the Gorgonzola to the skillet and stir over moderate heat until creamy. Strain the sauce over the pasta; add the parsley and toss, adding some of the reserved cooking liquid if the pasta seems dry. Serve all at once.

12 years ago

Baked Ziti with Spinach and Tomatoes

  • 3/4 lb. hot ground soy
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 28-oz. can diced peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup pestoli
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 2 tbsps. crushed garlic
  • 10 ozs. ziti or penne pasta (about 3 cups), freshly cooked
  • 8 cups ready-to-use spinach leaves (about 2/3 of 10.oz. package)
  • 6 ozs. mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 3 ozs.)

To prepare basil pesto: Chop 1/2 cup basil leaves, add 2 tbsps. crushed garlic and 2 tbsps. olive oil. Mix in blender.

Heat heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add soy, onion, and garlic and saute until soy is cooked through, breaking up soy with back of spoon, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes with juices to pan. Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in pesto. Season sauce with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to simmer before continuing.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly oil 13 x 9-in. glass baking dish. Combine pasta, spinach, mozzarella and 1/3 cup parmesan cheese in large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle remaining 2/3 cup parmesan cheese over. Bake until sauce bubbles and cheese melt, about 30 minutes.

* * *

Oven-Baked Ziti with Cheeses

  • 2 tbsps. Oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • tsp. fennel seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 15-oz. container ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 8 ozs. mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 12 ozs. fresh cooked ziti or other macaroni

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic and fennel seeds and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Mix in tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, water and oregano. Simmer until mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Butter 9 x 13-in. glass baking dish. In medium bowl combine ricotta (or cottage) cheese and egg. Reserve 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese for topping. Add remaining mozzarella to ricotta cheese mixture and blend. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix 1/4 cup parmesan cheese with pasta. Combine all ingredients. Top with remaining cheese. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

12 years ago

Fittuccine with Tomato cream sauce
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1/4 cup minced onion
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can (14 oz.) whole tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup heavy or whipping cream
1 package (9 oz.) fresh fettuccine noodles
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Melt butter or margarine in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onion and red pepper flakes; cook until softened, about five minutes. Add tomatoes and salt; cook over high heat, crushing tomatoes with a spoon, until almost all liquid has evaporated, eight to 10 minutes. Stir in cream and bring to a boil; boil for one minute. Meanwhile, cook fettuccine according to package directions and drain. Toss fettuccine with sauce and basil in large serving bowl. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

Pair this tasty pasta with garlic bread for extra zip.

Adriatic ravioli
12 years ago
  • 1 lb asparagus -- fresh
  • 1 lb cheese ravioli -- small : frozen
  • 5 TB butter -- or margarine
  • 1 lg red bell pepper -- seeded : and cut into : thin
  • 2-inch-long strips (1 : cup)
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms -- thinly sliced : (about 2 cups)
  • 4 lg garlic cloves -- peeled and : minced
  • 3 TB unbleached white flour
  • 2 1/2 c milk
  • 1/4 ts salt
  • 1 ts paprika -- plus additional : for : garnish
  • 1 TB Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c fresh basil -- chopped
  • 1/2 c Romano cheese -- (2 ounces)


: finely : grated : Pepper : Finely grated Parmesan : cheese for : serving Put a large pot of water on to boil. Snap off and discard the tough asparagus ends and cut the stalks into 1-inch pieces. You will have about 3 cups of asparagus. Steam until barely tender 6 to 8 minutes and set aside. Begin cooking the ravioli stirring occasionally. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Saute' the red pepper mushrooms and garlic until tender 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and let it cook for a minute or two. Slowly pour in the milk whisking constantly until thickened about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the salt paprika mustard basil Romano cheese and pepper to taste stirring until the cheese is melted. Reduce the heat to very low and stir in the sauteed vegetables. When the ravioli is tender and begins to float after about 10 to 12 minutes drain it well and transfer it to a large serving bowl. Pour on the sauce and toss gently. Garnish with paprika and serve with Parmesan on the side
13 years ago

A warm hello to the hosts and to each one on this lovely group !

I like speed recipes , because unfortunatelly I don't have too much time . So I shall sharee two great and speedy pasta recipes :

Mushroom Pasta Scampi ( shrimps ) a

8 ounces Linguine (uncooked) or favourite pasta
3 tbsp. oilve oil
1 pound sliced fresh white mushrooms
1 tbsp. chopped garlic
1 pound peeled and deveined uncooked large shrimp
10 ounces trimmed and torn fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper

Cook Linguine according to package directions; drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup pasta water; set aside. Meanwhie, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook and stir until tender and mushroom liquid is almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add shrimp; cover and cook until shrimp is almost cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in spinach and 1/2 cup reserved pasta water; cover and cook until spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Place pasta in a bowl; stir in mushrooms and shrimp mixture, Parmesan cheese and red pepper; toss to combine. Season with salt, if desired. YIELD: 4 Portions

Pasta Fagioli ( delicious ) b

1 carrot; chopped
1 onion; chopped
1 rib celery; chopped
4 strips bacon; chopped
1 clove garlic; chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can tomatoes; chopped (28 oz.)
1 can chicken broth; not condensed
1 1/2 cup water
1 can white beans; (19 oz.)
2 tablespoon parsley; chopped
1/2 cup ditalini pasta; cooked

In a large pot, saute carrot, onion, celery, bacon and garlic lightly in olive oil. Add tomatoes, water and broth. Simmer for 1/2 hour. Add parsley, beans and pasta. Heat through.

Sweet potato gnocchi
14 years ago
Prepare just as Gina's potato gnocchi.  These are wonderful topped with a "sauce" of leeks & cream with romano cheese.  Yummmm.
A Typical Recipe from Naples
14 years ago


14 oz. tubetti

3 eggs - beaten

4 oz. butter

grated Parmesan cheese

parsley, chopped. Salt and pepper

Cook the tubetti in boiling, salted water until they are "al dente", drain.  Melt the butter in a medim size skillet, add the beaten eggs, a pinch of salt, the tubetti, grated Parmesan cheese, and a dash of pepper.  Mix well.

Cook over a very low flame until the eggs start to set, stir again, top with a sprinkling of parsley and serve hot.

Buon appetito!

Giuliana aka Princess Litle Rock

14 years ago
| Essential

Hey Twyla, didn't see a thread for pastas of which I have a really good recipe so, I thought I'd create one.  Hope that's alright...


This recipe was passed down to me from my grandma who learnt it from my grandfather's family when they were first married.  It's easy but does take awhile to prepare :o)

Serves: 5-6


4 cups Ricotta chesse or boiled potato (either or - both are good and very different, I usually use the ricotta)

2 eggs

4 cups of flour (about)


In a large bowl combine cheese and eggs and mix together.  Add the flour, cup by cup, mixing each time until you reach the prefered consistancy of dough.  Basically want it the consistancy of bread dough.  On a floured cutting board, roll out a fistfull chunk of the dough into a long string - about as think as a quarter's diameter.  Cut the strip into inch long pieces.  With each piece lightly touch your pointer finger into the center, lightly depress and pull finger back - basically you depress the center giving the gnocchi it's characteristic shape and allowing the thicker center to cook thouroughly.  Place the rolled gnocchi onto a foured plate until you are finished cutting and rolling the remaining dough.  Drop the pasta into a pot of already boiling water handfuls at a time.  When they float they are done.  Drain them or strain them out depending on how big your pot is and enjoy with good Italian sauce, meatballs, sasuage, etc. 

Tip: you'll use LOTS of flour while rolling out the dough on the cutting board and your hands - the dough is very sticky.


New to Care2? Start Here.