Gluten-Free Baked Mac and Cheese
The trick with baking gluten-free pasta is to not over-boil it first- keep it al dente. It continues to cook in the sauce.
- 12 oz. dry gluten-free penne, spirals or macaroni pasta - Tinkyada is excellent
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sweet rice flour
- 2 1/2 cups unsweetened plain hemp milk or other plain non-dairy milk
- 2 cups shredded non-dairy gluten-free cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 to 1 teaspoon gluten-free honey mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup Best Gluten-Free "Bread" Crumbs - for topping
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon paprika and/or dried basil
- Halved grape or cherry tomatoes, optional
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and pre-cook the gluten-free penne just until it is al dente - tender, but still quite firm to the bite. Drain the pasta in a colander and rinse it quickly under cold water. Set aside.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, and stir in the rice flour (I like to use a whisk to do this). Cook and stir the flour for about 10 seconds, then slowly add in the almond milk, whisking to blend the flour paste and almond milk.
Bring the mixture to a bubble (it will thicken as it heats) then reduce the heat to low. Add the shredded vegan cheese, sea salt, mustard, nutmeg, and stir. Continue stirring the sauce until the cheese melts, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a 6-cup baking dish, combine the cooked penne with the hot cheese sauce. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with gluten-free bread crumbs and paprika. Add tomatoes and dried basil, if desired.
Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes, until heated through and bubbling.