Mac and cheese is the ultimate comfort food for me–after all how can you beat pasta and cheese? It’s the perfect meal to snuggle up with on a cold, rainy night of TV watching. But most instant gf mac and cheese tends to turn out watery and mushy–no thank you! I tried multiple recipes for my homemade mac and cheese and none turned out very well with gluten-free ingredients, so I started experimenting using the basic concepts and this is the recipe I’ve deemed the winner! Just a few notes–the recipe is much better if you roast your own garlic and tomatoes, but for a quicker recipe you can use jarred garlic and canned tomatoes. Also, the higher quality your cheese, the more delicious this will be–don’t skimp on the quality of the gouda!! You can sub in different combos of cheese–brie is especially good with some figs thrown in–just keep the proportions the same. I love strong, stinky cheese, but you don’t have to go that route!
2/3 lb gluten-free brown rice macaroni or penne (I always use Tinkyada brand)
1 ¼ cups whole milk (you can sub in almond or coconut milk)
1 ¼ TB GF all-purpose flour (I use Pamela’s Baking Mix)
1 ¼ TB unsalted butter
2 cups fresh Mozzarella cheese, diced
2 cups Extra Sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Gouda cheese, shredded
1 TB dry mustard
1 TB olive oil
3/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, shredded
salt and pepper to taste
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional—can also replace with ham)
1 8oz can roasted, diced tomatoes (optional, but they add to the moisture nicely)
10-15 basil leaves, chopped (optional)
¼ C. roasted garlic (optional)
1 TB hot sauce (optional, but I use Texas Pete’s)
1.) Preheat oven to 400° F
2.) Lightly grease 9”x13” baking dish with smidge of olive oil
3.) Boil a pot of water
4.) Cook pasta until very al dente (rice pasta tends to break down faster than regular pasta when baked with sauce, so better to undercook a little!)
5.) Drain pasta and rinse with warm water.
7.) Bring the milk to boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly to prevent burning. Remove from heat once boiling.
8.) In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour. Cook for 3-4 minutes, but do not let mixture brown.
9.) Slowly add the milk to the mixture, whisking as you pour to prevent lumps.
10.) Add the mozzarella, cheddar, and gouda. Stir constantly until the cheese is melted and the sauce is thickening.
11.) Remove sauce from heat. Season with salt, pepper, and dry mustard. Then stir in roasted garlic, basil, roasted tomatoes, and bacon.
12.) Pour cheese sauce over pasta in baking dish. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.
13.) Bake for about 1-15 minutes or until just browned on top
Hope you love this cheesy goodness as much as I do! Stay tuned next Monday for another gf comfort food recipe!