MACARONI ITALIANO

  • Yield 6 servings
  • Prep 20 mins
  • Cook 40 mins

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salt
8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 cups (1 – 16 oz. can) canned tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon low-sodium baking soda
1 cup (1 – 8 oz. can) tomato sauce
1-1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 -- 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1-1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup chopped toasted California walnuts
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Bring about 6 quarts of water to a boil with 1 tablespoon salt.  Add the macaroni and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 8 minutes, or until done 
  2. While the macaroni is cooking, place the tomatoes and their juice into a large bowl.  Add the baking soda, and with a fork or your fingers, break the tomatoes into small chunks.  Stir in the tomato sauce.  Add the cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, spinach, peas, basil and pepper and toss to combine; set aside.  When the macaroni is done, drain well in a colander.  Add to the cheese mixture, toss to mix thoroughly, then pour into an oiled 2 ½ quart baking dish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the casserole for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake 10 minutes longer.  Stir in the walnuts and spring with parsley. 

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