Since moving here to Charlotte, three years ago, I have learned a lot about southern food from all different sources. Last week, I was teaching in a fourth grade class and working on a Thanksgiving Word Scramble with some fabulous students. I was a fan of this class assignment because a lot of the scrambled words were foods. Yum. However, as we worked through the paper, my class was completely dismayed that one of the words on this Thanksgiving Scramble was not macaroni and cheese. Hmmm… Macaroni and cheese as a holiday side dish? Truly. They assured me that it was a holiday requirement in the south. I was intrigued and set about to make my own as soon as I got home.
I have never tried to make homemade macaroni and cheese before and I really have no idea why not. I think I hesitated because we eat gluten-free but, as I looked into some ideas for homemade mac & cheese, I realized that if I used some of our favorite gluten-free pasta, added in our favorite cheeses and milk, and set it all to bake, I couldn’t really go wrong. I will definitely be making this again. This easy, homemade Mac & Cheese is perfect for Meatless Monday! Give it a try…
|Cheese, Cheese, Cheese|
12 oz package of your favorite gluten-free pasta (preferably elbows or small penne)
4 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded
4 ounces gruyere cheese, shredded
8 ounces parmesan cheese, shredded
Any other small amounts of cheese hanging out in your fridge
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1. Prepare your gluten-free pasta according to the package directions but DO NOT overcook. You want your pasta al dente – meaning it is a tiny bit chewy, but not hard. Drain, set aside.
2. In a small saucepan, combine the assorted cheeses and the milk – reserve some shredded parmesan or something similar – to sprinkle over the top. For this batch of homemade mac & cheese, I probably used five different types of cheese – this recipe is a great way to use up any small amounts of cheese hanging out in your cheese drawer.
3. Combine the cooked pasta and melted cheese in a large bowl.
4. Spray a 9×12 casserole with cooking spray and pour the cheesy pasta into the casserole. Sprinkle with about 1/4 cup or so of grated cheese.
5. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve with some fresh fruit or a beautiful green salad! So easy! Enjoy.
Some more thoughts on southern food … Even though I am a Boston girl at heart, I really can’t get enough of southern food, talking about southern food, eating southern food, and hanging out with other people who love to talk about southern food… so I will be going to FoodBlogSouth 2013 being held on January 26th in Birmingham, Alabama. Join me! Click here for more information about this great event. Post a comment or email me directly if you are interested in getting 10% off your registration fee… I’ve got connections. 🙂