I started with this recipe and edited it mildly. Mostly, I cut the recipe in half because it is huge.
8ish oz tube pasta
12 oz small curd cottage cheese
4 tbls butter
4 tbls flour
2 C. half and half
2 C. shredded cheese (you can add more if you like)
6-8 strips cooked bacon – crumbled
1/4 + C. dry bread crumbs + 1 tbls melted butter (I also add some dried parsley)
I substituted Penne for Ziti…because I don’t love Ziti.
If you don’t have a way to blend up the cottage cheese, I simply used the whisk attachment on my hand beaters to break it up a little.
I’ve also learned the greatest trick for making roux, is using Wondra flour. It is wonderful.
Get your pasta cooking first. Then throw your bacon in the oven to cook (it’s easier).
If you are nervous about making your own cheese sauce because it turns out gritty, I’ll share a few tricks.
Give it time to cook. Keep it a little above medium heat and stir occasionally. My mistake was just waiting for the flour and butter to combine and calling it good. Roux takes time. If you don’t cook it long enough – it is gritty.
Once it turns this gorgeous caramel color and you can smell it (trust me, you’ll know). You are good to go. I also warm up my milk before I pour it in which seems to help. Any other tips – feel free to share! Once the mixture starts to thicken (but no boil) add your cheese and you have a fabulous cheese sauce!
I added chicken to the dish to make it seem more like a meal. I just cut up a couple of chicken breasts into small pieces, seasoned them, and cooked them. Nothing too fancy.
Combine your pasta, cheese sauce, cottage cheese, bacon, and chicken and put into a deep baking dish. Combine bread crumbs and melted butter to make topping and sprinkle on top of your pasta. Cook at 400 for 20 minutes until it is nice a bubbly.
Serve and enjoy!
You could also make this without the chicken and use it as a side dish if you wish.