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Glorious Macaroni & Cheese

By Elizabeth Yarnell

4 cups macaroni-shaped whole grain pasta
1 1/3 cup water or liquid from canned tomatoes (see below)
6-10 drops olive oil
16-24 oz. cheese, sliced or grated
4 carrots, sliced
2 Tbsp. oregano, fresh chopped, or 1 tsp. dried
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup broccoli florets, halved
1-2 cups spinach, roughly chopped
4-6 tomatoes, chopped, or 2 14 oz. cans, drained


Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray inside of 3 1/2 or 4-quart cast iron Dutch oven and lid with olive oil, taking care to fully coat all interior surfaces.

Place dry noodles in pot. If using canned tomatoes, drain and reserve the liquid and use to make the 1 1/3 cup of liquid, adding water as needed. If using fresh tomatoes, use all water. Add olive oil to liquid, stir and pour over pasta. Mix gently and spread pasta evenly across bottom of pot.

Place a layer of cheese over pasta. Add carrots. Sprinkle with half of the garlic and half of the oregano. Lightly salt and pepper.

Layer in broccoli and cover with a blanket of cheese. Sprinkle rest of spices and lightly salt and pepper. Top with spinach and fresh or drained canned tomatoes.

Cover and bake for 30-35 minutes, or about 3 minutes after the aroma of a fully cooked meal escapes the oven.

Overcooking this recipe may cause the noodles to clump and a crusty layer to form along the bottom and lower sides of the pot. While these tasty strips are fun to crunch, you can avoid this effect by paying careful attention to when the aroma first escapes the oven and announces that the meal is ready.

About the author: Elizabeth Yarnell is a Certified Nutritional Consultant and the author of Glorious One-Pot Meals: A new quick & healthy approach to Dutch oven cooking, a guide to a guide to preparing quick, healthy and balanced one-pot meals. Visit Elizabeth online at to subscribe to her free newsletter. The Glorious One-Pot Meal cooking method is unique and holds US patent 6,846,504.

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