We consume so much milk, cheese, butter, and yogurt in this house, I cannot imagine being allergic to dairy. I think I would go into a deep depression. And say mean things to strangers.
I was pretty excited when the Wisconsin Milk Board approached me about creating a Macaroni & Cheese recipe inspired by a classic dish. Challenge happily accepted!
Kugel immediately came to mind. My mom used to make it when I was a kid.
Kugel is a Jewish casserole, made with egg noodles, and either cream cheese or sour cream. It’s more sweet than savory, so of course it’s right up my alley. I swapped the egg noodles for macaroni, and used ricotta cheese instead of the traditional cream cheese. It turned out beautifully.
This recipe is part of the Wisconsin Cheese’s 4th Annual 30 Days, 30 Ways. It’s a Mac and Cheese mecca. Go check it out!
Baked Kugel Mac and Ricotta Cheese
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
• 2 cups dry elbow pasta
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter + 2 tablespoons
• 1 cup (8 ounces) Wisconsin ricotta cheese
• 3 large eggs
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 2 cups half and half
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon salt
• 1 cup golden raisins
• 1 cup packed dried apples, roughly chopped
• 1/2 cup (about 3 full sheets) graham-cracker crumbs
Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 9×13 baking dish with unsalted butter; set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions (about 7 minutes.) Drain and return to pot. Add 1/4 cup butter and toss gently to coat.
While the pasta is cooking, whisk together the ricotta, eggs, sugar, half and half, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Fold in the cooked pasta, raisins, and dried apples pieces. Pour into the baking dish and bake for 20 minutes.
In a small microwavable bowl, melt the 2 tablespoons of butter. Mix in the graham cracker crumbs.
Remove kugel from oven; sprinkle with crumbs and return to oven for another 25 minutes or until custard is firm.
Cool 30 minutes on wire rack. Serve warm or cold.
This post is sponsored by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Opinions are, of course, my own.