Ok- we know this is not raw or vegan but it is PURE comfort food for the gluten-intolerant! This recipe is based on the classic, time-tested recipe loved by kids big, small, paleo or vegetarian. It features a simple milk- and potato starch-based roux, enhanced with butternut squash and extra-sharp cheddar cheese—but feel free to make your own additions and changes. Replace some or all of the cheddar with Asiago, Fontina, Swiss, Jarlsberg, goat, or mozzarella cheese, and enhance the flavor with Dijon mustard, red pepper flakes, or other spices. This gluten-free Mac & Cheese recipe is adapted from The Gluten-Free Good Health Cookbook by Annalise G. Roberts and Dr. Claudia Pillow.
1 pound gluten-free elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon potato starch
1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme
1⁄2 teaspoon dry mustard
2 1⁄4 cup milk (whole is best)
1 (10-ounce) box frozen cooked butternut squash, defrosted and puréed
2 cups (about 8 ounces) shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (shred your own to ensure no wheat products are added to prevent caking)
1⁄2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 tomato slices and fresh parsley sprigs, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Place the rack in the center of the oven. Grease a 1-quart (948-mL) baking dish with cooking spray.
- Cook the macaroni in a large pot of boiling water until tender. Drain the macaroni; do not rinse it with cold water.
- While the macaroni is boiling, melt the butter in a medium- sized, heavy saucepan over low heat. Mix the potato starch, thyme, and dry mustard into the melted butter and cook slowly, stirring constantly for 1 minute (the mixture will be bubbly and won’t look like a traditional roux). Gradually stir in the milk. Increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until the white sauce is smooth, thick, and reaches the boiling point. Whisk in the puréed butternut squash.
- Reduce the heat and add the shredded cheddar cheese. Stir until the cheese is melted. Spoon the sauce into the macaroni and stir until well combined. Add the salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spoon the macaroni and cheese into the prepared baking dish. Top with tomato slices and the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
- Place the baking dish in the center of the oven and bake at 350°F (180°C) for about 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown and crisp on top. Garnish with fresh parsley and serve immediately.