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Easy Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

It’s time for dinner. It has been a long day. The kids are clamoring and you just want to sit down. It’s easy to reach for that box of macaroni and cheese.

But stop. There’s no need. Besides the fact that you might not be able to pronounce all the ingredients contained in that cheese sauce — and how did they get it that day-glo orange color? — you might be surprised to find that making macaroni and cheese from scratch might be faster. The homemade stuff sure tastes better.

And it has three ingredients. Four, if you count the pasta water.

Plus, it’s gluten-free.

(But this works with gluten pasta too.)

Easy Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese

This macaroni and cheese works because of the starches released into the water when you cook pasta. In fact, pasta water is the secret ingredient to many pasta sauces. That the technique involves letting everything sit while you set the table for dinner? Even better. 

I’m pretty sure this works with regular gluten pasta as well. Try it and let us know!

 

16 ounces gluten-free pasta (we prefer the Jovial brand to any others)
4 ounces grated cheddar cheese
4 ounces soft goat cheese (you could also use cream cheese here)

Cooking the pasta. Set a large pot of hot water over high heat. Add enough salt to make the water taste like the ocean (that’s usually about 1/4 cup). When the water comes to a boil, pour in the pasta. Stir it continuously for the first minute.

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Each gluten-free pasta cooks differently. You are looking to the cook the pasta until it has softened but still has a good bite. With the brand we like best, we cook the pasta for 8 minutes.

Making the sauce. Spread the cheddar cheese on the bottom of a large bowl. Dot the top of the cheddar cheese with the goat cheese.

When the pasta is cooked al dente, move it over to the bowl, on top of the cheeses. Move about 1/2 cup of the pasta water as well. Do NOT stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, stir up the cheeses and pasta. You should have a good, creamy sauce. If it’s not quite creamy enough yet, add more pasta water.

And that’s it!

Feeds 4.

You can find more of Shauna and Danny’s recipes, essays, photographs and words of comfort about living gluten-free at Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef. Shauna shares food ideas and answers questions on Twitter. She also pins photographs and recipes on Pinterest and Foodily. There’s a great community at the Facebook fan page for Gluten-Free Girl and the Chef.

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