Updated: Jan 13
I didn't make it to the market today, or anywhere actually! It was my first "lazy" Sunday in many months. So, now it's dinnertime (already??) and I need to come up with something fast and delicious / minimal effort. This GF Mac & Cheese is the perfect choice. You probably have most of these ingredients already in the house. I have made this recipe MANY times and have tweaked it to perfection. Feel free to make your own adjustments based on your family's taste buds. Leftovers make a great Monday lunch: reheat a portion in the microwave and scoop it into a thermos!
12oz Gluten Free Elbows (or other small pasta of choice, make sure it is a brand that can "hold up" and not get mushy. Barilla is a good choice, Ancient Harvest is another)
1 1/2 Cups Milk @ room temperature
2 Cups Shredded Cheese (I used a blend - 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar, 1/2 cup mozzarella)
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp GF Flour (I used King Arthur Measure for Measure)
1tsp Onion Powder
1tsp White Cooking Wine
1/4 Cup reserved pasta water
1/4 Cup Aleias GF Italian Breadcrumbs
1Tbsp butter, melted
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add pasta* and gently stir. Under cook by a minute or two. Barilla elbows say 6-7, so I boil for 5.
Drain pasta, reserving 1/4 cup of the water.
* If you want to sneak in some veggies, add 1/2 bag of frozen riced cauliflower with the pasta and cook together. It gets super soft and often goes undetected.
While you wait, grab another large pot and add 2 Tbsp butter. Simmer on low heat until melted.
Quickly add 2 Tbsp of GF Flour and whisk together with the melted butter until blended into a paste, about a minute.
Slowly add the milk, and continue to whisk. Heat the mixture at medium heat, until it begins to bubble and then thicken (about 2 min).
Reduce heat to a simmer then add onion powder, salt, pepper and stir. Congratulations, you have made a GF Béchamel Sauce!
Add cheese and stir with a spoon or rubber spatula until melted, then add the cooking wine. If the mixture seems too think, add a small amount of the reserved pasta water at a time, to thin the sauce (do not dump in the full 1/4 at once. You likely will not need all of it ).
Add drained pasta into sauce and gently fold it in to combine. Add additional salt, as needed, to taste
Pour into a greased 9X13 oven safe casserole dish. (I make my sauce in a Pampered Chef Rock Crock Pot that can go right in the oven - less dishes to wash!)
Here's the best part: Sprinkle with breakcrumbs and drizzle with melted butter
Pop in the broiler for a couple of minutes until the breadcrumbs turn golden. Ovens vary, so watch closely that you don't burn them.
Serve with your favorite veggies (if you added the cauliflower you are good to go!)