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Source: Fabulous Food Associations

Macaroni Italiano
The macaroni, veggies and cheese combination offer a unique taste treat.
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Serves: 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
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1 tablespoon salt, (to taste)
8 ounces elbow macaroni
2 cups canned tomatoes, (one 16-ounce can)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup tomato sauce, (one 8-ounce can)
1 1/4 cups low-fat cottage cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess water
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 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.

While the macaroni is cooking, place the tomatoes and their juice into a large bowl. Add the baking soda, and with 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 1/2-quart baking dish.

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 sprinkle with parsley.

*toasting is optional

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