Gluten/Dairy-free Cheesy Pasta [Recipe]

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Playing with Pulse Kitchen 'cheeses' (specifically the "Sharp Cashew Cheddar" which is made with local Gluten-Free Beer!) led to an amazing discovery. Chickpea miso and nutritional yeast adds the cheesy flavour (and also amazing nutrition benefits!) It's dairy-free, soy-free, vegan and gluten-free. That's a lot of labels, but sometimes we have to do specific, therapeutic diets based on what our body needs. Going dairy free usually means giving up cheesy pasta, so here's a great way to get the best of both worlds.

Dairy Free Mac n' Cheese

Béchamel, one of the Grand Sauces or Mother Sauces, is a white sauce made by thickening seasoned or flavored milk with a white roux (butter/flour paste). The Mother Sauces are 5 basic sauces that all have different derivatives depending on what ingredients are added. A variation on Sauce Mornay (derivative of a Béchamel) makes for a really rich, thick and gooey sauce to coat your pasta and creates a fancy (yet easy) mac n cheese.

We wanted to create a version of this sauce so that those who cannot eat dairy can still enjoy a favorite comfort food. (Don’t even tell your friends that it’s dairy free, they probably won’t be able to tell the difference!)

Ingredients:                                    (Serves 2-3)

1 ¼ cup    Almond Milk 

2 Tbsp.     Coconut Oil 

2 Tbsp.     Flour  (if following gluten-free, see Customizations below for alternative instructions)

50g (half package) Pulse Kitchens Sharp Cashew Cheddar 

 2 cups      Dry Macaroni Pasta (gluten-free pasta if you wish)

Directions:

 Put a pot of seasoned water on the stove to boil for pasta.

 In a small pot, bring the almond milk to a simmer. Turn down to keep warm.

 In a slightly bigger pot, melt the coconut milk and whisk in the flour to create a paste (called a roux). Cook on medium heat, continually stirring with a whisk for 3 min.

Slowly pour in half the almond milk. Whisk together and wait until mixture begins to thicken. Add remaining almond milk and whisk in. Cook on med for 7 min. or until the sauce thickens and doesn’t taste floury, stirring occasionally.

Crumble in the cheese. Whisk until the cheese is evenly dispersed in the sauce. Add salt to taste.

Cook pasta as per directions on package. Strain the pasta, put it back into the pot. Pour in cheese sauce and stir until pasta is evenly coated with cause.

Portion the sauced pasta into bowls and garnish with black pepper and chive (or whatever your heart desires!)

Dairy/Gluten Free Notes and Customizations:

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To make the recipe gluten and dairy free, skip the part where you make the roux. Instead, in a small bowl make a slurry by whisking together 1.5 Tbsp. corn starch and 2 Tbsp. almond milk (or water). When the almond milk comes to a simmer pour in the slurry and whisk continually until the milk thickens.

Continue with the rest of the recipe and use your favorite gluten free pasta.

Be adventurous, finish your sauce with a bit of white wine to give it a certain je ne sais quoi. Just don’t add too much or you will thin your sauce too much and lose that lovely gooey-ness you worked so hard to achieve.

Enjoy!