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Lighter Touch Macaroni & Cheese

6-onces elbow or other small macaroni

1 tablespoon low-fat margarine

1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crumbled

½ teaspoon dried thyme; crumbled

Pinch ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons Worcestershire powder

Pinch paprika

3 tablespoons flour

2 cups skim milk

1 tablespoon Dijon or spicy brown mustard .

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

Preheat the oven to 350°. Cook the macaroni according to package directions, omitting the salt. Rinse with cold water and drain well. In small saucepan, melt the margarine over moderate heat. Add the marjoram, thyme, nutmeg, Worcestershire powder, paprika and cook while stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour with ¼ cup of the milk. Add another ¼ cup and whisk until blended. Pour the mixture into the saucepan with the margarine and herbs, set over moderate heat. Add the rest of the milk in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard and all but 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese.

Stir the sauce into the macaroni and mix well. Add the cottage cheese and mix well again. Spoon into an ungreased 8 x 8 x 2 baking pan and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until bubbly and golden.

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