2 cups (8 ounces) dry Barilla Whole Grain Elbows pasta or penne, see shopping tip
1½ cups fat-free cottage cheese
1½ cups grape, sugar plum or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1¼ cups salsa, I used Pace Medium Chunky Salsa or choose a hot salsa if you like it super spicy
1 (15 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon reduced-fat butter or Smart Balance Light, melted
1 egg, I like using Egg-land’s Best eggs
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1 cup fat-free sour cream or nonfat Greek yogurt (plain)
½ cup scallions, sliced
½ cup shredded (2%) reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend or cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 9×9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. You can use a glass or metal pan.
2. Cook pasta and only cook for 6 minutes so it will not be overcooked. No need to add salt to water! Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again.
3. In a large bowl, mix together cooked pasta, cottage cheese, tomatoes, salsa, beans and butter. Blend in egg, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and pepper, to taste. Be sure to mix well.
4. Transfer pasta mixture to the baking pan. Bake casserole 20 minutes.
5. In the meantime, in a small bowl, mix together sour cream and scallions. Remove casserole from oven after 20 minutes and spread mixture over the top, using a rubber spatula. It’s a must to use a rubber spatula for spreading to prevent the casserole from lifting up. Next, sprinkle evenly with cheese. Place back in oven and bake about 6 minutes longer, until cheese is melted.
8. Remove from oven. Let casserole rest for 10 minutes. Cut into 6 serving. This casserole freeze great!
Makes 6 servings (each serving about 1½ cups)
for 1 serving (about 1½ cups)