In our house, one of my daughter’s first favourite foods was Mac & Cheese (but then … what kid’s isn’t?). When we went gluten free, they didn’t have a boxed variety readily available at first. So I made it from scratch, and although it was good, it wasn’t as good as her old favourite Mac & Cheese (K&D). I have to admit, the noodles do make a difference! The brand under Metro Foods (Irresistibles) finally came out with a very good gluten free Mac & Cheese that my daughter loved and wasn’t too expensive, she would eat an entire box on her own! She said that although she did like the mac & cheese from scratch, this one was much closer to the one from her pre gluten free days. She liked the noodles much better. Unfortunately, I think it may have been withdrawn – haven’t seen it lately and is not listed with the other products.
I still prefer her to have the one made from scratch as I know everything that goes into it.
Luckily, as more and more companies ventured into the gluten free market, we had more options for gluten free noodles – the latest one being from Catelli – this one is a blend of white rice flour, brown rice flour, and quinoa flour. It stands up well to boiling and doesn’t get as mushy as some others and both my daughter and husband really like it.
We are now back to making it from scratch…
Gluten free Mac and Cheese
1 Box of Gluten free macaroni noodles ( I have been using Catelli lately)
¾ cups of milk
¼ cup of half and half cream
1 ½ tbsp butter
1- 1 ½ tsp of tapioca starch
2 cups of shredded cheese ( like to mix it up with cheddar and mozzarella – heavier on the cheddar – but any cheese would be great – imagine the possibilities…)
garlic and pepper to taste
Boil the water as per package directions for the pasta to get that started – once boiled add in the pasta and cook as per directions.
Meanwhile, in a glass dish ( I like to use a 4 cup glass measuring cup) add in the milk and butter – heat for 1 minute to get milk heated and butter melted – add in the shredded cheese and spices and heat for another minute or two to heated and completely melted- you may see a bit of separation ( it is ok) add in the tapioca flour and stir to mix thoroughly – place back in the microwave for another minute – should be thickening nicely – can heat for another 30 seconds but make sure to keep an eye on sauce so it does not overheat. Take out and keep stirring- will thicken a bit more. Set aside for a minute while you drain and rinse the pasta.
Once drained and rinsed, add into bowls or onto plates and top with sauce, mixing thorough. Top with basil and pepper as well as parmesan if preferred and serve.