The Ultimate Macaroni and Cheese (gluten free version included).

This recipe was adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s Macaroni & Cheese recipe. I originally made it for a Christmas gathering then altered it for a gluten-free version to serve at my best friend’s baby shower.  Both ways are delicious..though it’s hard to go wrong when indulging in so much cheese 🙂

Mac & Cheese
Makes 6 entree-sized servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box pasta (I normally use Dreamfields pasta for the fiber content; use brown rice pasta like Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Penne Pasta to make it gluten free)
  • 1 whole egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup AP flour (or gluten-free rice flour)
  • 2-1/2 cups 2% or whole milk (although still high in fat, these options are better than some recipes that use heavy cream)
  • 1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 lb. mozzarella cheese (low moisture, part skim), shredded  (or 1/2 lb. monterey jack cheese, shredded)
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

 Directions:

  1. Cook macaroni until very firm (slightly less than directed on box) and drain. You want it very firm because it will continue baking after prepared. Beat egg in a small bowl.
  2. Melt butter over medium-low heat in large pan. Add flour and whisk together. Whisk constantly for 5 minutes.
  3. Add milk and whisk until smooth. Increase heat to medium (depending on my pan, I sometimes have to increase it to medium-high) and cook for 5 minutes until very thick. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Slowly add 2 Tbsp. of the milk mixture to beaten egg and whisk constantly (to avoid cooking the egg). Add another 1/4 cup milk mixture, whisking constantly until smooth.
  5. Add egg-milk mixture to pan, whisking constantly. Stir until smooth.
  6. Add in cheese, salt and pepper. Stir until melted.
  7. Stir in cooked pasta and pour into baking dish.
  8. Top pasta with extra cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.
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