For years I have loved making Ina Garten’s recipes. I have all of her cookbooks and have yet to be disappointed by anything we have tried. I have some regulars on our list that we love but it has been a couple of years since I made this mac and cheese. In fact it was one of my kids who requested that I make some delicious mac and cheese that they recalled I made years ago and then I remembered it was Ina Garten’s! Well after finally making it again, my kids requested I make this every night! My son even told me he felt like it looked and tasted like a fancy restaurant! So if these comments from my sometimes picky eaters aren’t enough, then trust me when I say, this one is worth trying! I substituted three ingredients in this recipe to make it gluten free (see adaptations below the recipe.) It was perfect!
A decade ago, when we first started this journey, I bought every gluten free cookbook on the market. I was so intimidated by recipes and overwhelmed by the gluten free flours that never seemed to equal regular flours in measurements. Anyone remember those days??? I stayed away from many recipes that required flour because I was too nervous! I will never forget discovering Cup4Cup flour and being relieved I could finally use gluten free flour the same way I used regular flour. I also soon discovered, I didn’t need gluten free cookbooks. I could easily make any recipe we liked by substituting gluten free products for the ones mentioned in our favorite recipes. My life eventually became a lot easier when it came to cooking. And I turned to Ina Garten for many recipes when we first started. They are simple and delicious and very easy to substitute whatever is needed to make it gluten free. The original recipe can be found in Barefoot Contessa Family Style by Ina Garten or in the link below.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten (see original recipe- https://barefootcontessa.com/recipes/mac-cheese)
- 2 boxes of gluten free elbow macaroni ( We use Le Veneziane.)
- 1 quart of milk
- 1 stick of butter (Will be divided into 6 tablespoons and 2 tablespoons.)
- 1/2 cup of gluten free all purpose flour (We use Cup4Cup Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour (affiliate link).)
- 4 cups of Gruyere cheese (grated)
- 2 cups of extra sharp cheddar (grated)
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup of plain breadcrumbs (We use Aleia’s Gluten Free Foods Plain Breadcrumbs (affiliate link).)
Preheat the oven to 375°. The next steps will be done somewhat simultaneously. First boil the water for the pasta. When you are ready to add the pasta to the boiling water, you can do the next steps. In a small saucepan heat the milk. In a large pot, melt 6 tablespoons of butter and then add the flour. Stir with a whisk over low heat for 2 minutes. Add the milk from the small saucepan into the large pot and continue to whisk. Take the pot off the heat and add the Gruyere and cheddar cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. When the pasta is done drain it well. Add the pasta to the pot and stir well. Pour the pasta into a 9×13 baking dish. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter (the remaining stick of butter) and combine it with the breadcrumbs. Once combined, sprinkle on top of the pasta in the baking dish. Bake for 30-35 minutes. The sauce should be bubbly and the pasta browned on top.
Adaptations to the Recipe:
I made adaptations to this recipe by using our favorite gluten free pasta, Le Veneziane. I also substituted the all purpose flour for gluten free flour. We used Cup4Cup Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour (affiliate link). I made changes from her recipe when using the breadcrumbs as well. I did not use fresh bread to create breadcrumbs as she did in her recipe. Instead, I substituted our favorite gluten free breadcrumbs, Aleia’s Gluten Free Foods Plain Breadcrumbs (affiliate link). Ina Garten uses fresh tomato slices on top of the pasta mixture before adding the breadcrumbs. Although I know this probably makes the dish even more delicious, I know my kids would not eat it with the tomatoes so I eliminated them.