Gluten Free Mac n Cheese
Has anyone else been on a total cheese-binge lately? No? Just me, huh? Well, after our last face off, a few weekends of late night snacks consisting of goat cheese and rice crackers, and a recent cheese curd appetizer in Madison, WI, I’ve about hit my limit. Which is why having a large amount of mac n cheese left over in my fridge, is not a great situation to be in, but I’m sure I will manage.
Yes. Gluten free mac n cheese. With a creamy cheese sauce and noodles that did not disintegrate in the cooking process. Thanks to Cup4Cup Flour and Ancient Harvest Quinoa Pasta, I was able to recreate one of my favorite dishes. A bit nervous about making a cheese sauce, or a roux for that matter, with gluten free flour (and almond milk), but it worked like a charm. The sauce thickened up perfectly and the flavor wasn’t compromised.
When working with a non-gluten pasta, be sure to add some olive oil to the cooking water and to the pasta as it is draining. Both of these steps will ensure it doesn’t stick together, creating one large ‘piece’ of pasta. Which is what happened to me… I had one large chunk of elbow pasta, and had to carefully break it down and try not to completely destroy the integrity of the noodles. It worked. Somewhat. But after the cheese sauce hit, no one could know the difference. Except me. And anyone who might be reading this…
Gluten Free Mac n Cheese
Serves 8, generously
1 lb gluten free elbow pasta, preferably corn or quinoa based
4 tbsp unsalted butter + 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 tbsp Cup4Cup flour, or another gluten free flour substitute that has a 1:1 ratio
6 oz gouda cheese, shredded
6 oz mild cheddar, shredded, put aside 1/4 c
2 1/2 c almond milk, regular milk or other non-dairy milk
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
In a large dutch oven, boil water and add a tsp of olive oil. Add the pasta and cook for 4 minutes. Drain, drizzle with olive oil (to make sure it doesn’t stick together) and toss. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350*. In the same pot used for the pasta, heat 4 tbsp of butter until melted. Add in the flour, and whisk constantly for 2 minutes. Gradually pour in the 2 c milk, and whisk until combined. Add in the cheese and stir till combined. Mix in the remaining 1/2 c of milk and spices, stir. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and remove from heat.
In a 3 qt baking dish, cover the bottom with the melted butter. Place half the pasta in the baking dish, then cover with half the cheese sauce. Repeat with the remaining pasta and cheese sauce. Top with the 1/4 c of cheddar, and bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.