Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rice Shells & Cheese

Comfort foods are meant to be enjoyed with relish. And they can be a good thing on almost any diet provided that 1) they don't entirely deviate from your diet and 2) that they aren't one of your gateway foods. You know the ones I'm talking about. The ones where you can't stop at one bite? If you can control yourself, then comfort food can be a great thing! Enter macaroni and cheese. It's one of the ultimate comfort foods, and for good reason. The starch, the fat, the creamy delicious texture. Yep, this might be one of those gateway foods for some. In which case, halve the recipe and pop it in a 9 in pie dish. And then eat a serving and pass it along! Quick!

Rice Shells & Cheese
1 lb white rice pasta shells
¼ cup butter
1 cup shredded cheddar, divided
½ cup shredded Italian cheese mixture
⅓ cup ricotta cheese
½ cup full fat yogurt
½ tsp ground dry mustard
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp paprika
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease an 8x11" glass casserole dish with butter. Boil the rice pasta in a pot of salted water according to the directions on the package. Drain and return pasta to pot. Add butter, two-thirds of the cheddar cheese, and the Italian cheese and mix well. Add the ricotta and yogurt and mix well again. Add the remaining seasonings and mix thoroughly. Spread in the casserole dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.