Thursday, October 9, 2008

WF Macaroni & Cheese

The weather is cooling and turning on the oven is no longer such a bad thing. It's time to start making snuggle-in comfort foods like macaroni and cheese.

The Wasa light rye crackers seem to be available at many local stores in the regular cracker aisle. Even if you don't like rye, these have a very light taste. They are my usual substitute for traditional saltines for peanut butter or cheese and crackers. Remember, rye contains gluten. If you are gluten intolerant, omit the last step before baking or use a slice or two of gluten free bread.

If your local health food store does not stock
bionaturae, ask about special orders. The multiple flours make it the best wheat-free pasta available.
Always read ingredient labels--even if its something you have bought many times before. Vendors and recipes change. There is also a huge range ingredients and recipes from one manufacturer to the next. This is especially true in products like soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. I usually try to get
Lea & Perrins Worcestershire when I can afford it. Some store-brands are wheat-free, but the flavor just does not compare.

Wheat-Free Macaroni & Cheese
400 degree oven
12 oz package of bionaturae organic gluten-free penne pasta
2 Tblsp butter
1 ½ Tblsp
wheat-free flour blend
½ tsp dry mustard powder
2 cups milk
4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, cubed or shredded
4 ounces Monterey-jack cheese, cubed or shredded
1 tsp salt
3-4 twists of fresh cracked pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 Tblsp melted butter
4 Wasa light rye crackers, crushed into crumbs
1 Tblsp Parmesan cheese

Grease 2 quart baking dish. Bring large pot of water to boil. Add a few drops of olive oil to the boiling water to help keep pasta from sticking together. Follow package directions for cooking, stopping just short of al dente since it will get additional cooking time while baking. Drain water, return to pan and cover to keep warm and moist until sauce is finished.

While pasta boils, melt 2 Tblsp butter in 2 qt saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and mustard powder, whisking to blend up to one minute. Continue whisking while adding milk. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer until sauce is thickened (2 or 3 minutes).

Remove from heat. Gradually blend in cheeses and Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper to taste. Add sauce to pasta, folding carefully to keep from breaking up the pasta. Transfer to prepared baking dish.

Blend 1 Tblsp melted butter and cracker crumbs. Sprinkle over top of pasta in dish. Place in oven, with a baking sheet on the rack below in case this bubbles over. Bake 15-20 minutes until top is nicely toasted and sauce is well cooked. Let set about 5 minutes before serving.

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