As a child, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese was the epitome of my dinner hopes and dreams. Before we hit teenager-dom, every time Mum would ask what my sister and I wanted for dinner, we would scream out macaroni and cheese. We were easy children to please.
Of course, this changed as our taste buds did and the last time I had the Kraft mac and cheese from the tin, at maybe 14 years old, I thought it was disgusting. What was my child-self thinking? When it came time to make macaroni and cheese in our Home Ec. class at school, I wasn’t looking forward to it. I only associated the stuff with fake cheese sauce… little did I know that you can make the sauce yourself! Haha.
Times have changed since secondary school and cooking is now something I have to do more than once a week for a semester, although luckily I don’t get graded on it. Well, I sort of do. But at least I don’t have to complete a write up afterwards! Wait, isn’t that what this is? Gah!
I have no idea where on Earth that Home Ec. recipe is – probably in Mum’s kitchen somewhere – and in all honesty, I don’t remember being in love with it. But last week, when I had finished making four jars of a fructose friendly General Tso’s sauce (recipe coming) and sealed them, Evgeny decided that he didn’t want a stir fry that night. Double GAH! Well, I wasn’t going to make anything gourmet after I’d just spent so much time on the sauce, so my mind switched to easy mode. We had made a lasagne on the weekend and instead of a traditional bechamel sauce we used cream cheese as a base – considering that we had more cream cheese to get rid of (we’re currently trying to eat through out fridge and pantry) I decided it was time to make macaroni and cheese again and worked off that sauce.
Before I go any further, don’t shoot me, I didn’t have macaroni. I (successfully, woot!) trialled spelt pasta and the only shape it came in was rotini. Let’s not go calling this “rot and cheese,” though, because quite frankly it sounds like something that’s gone off.
- This meal is not lactose free.
- Substitute macaroni back in if you’d like, of course.
- Corn is low FODMAPs and gluten free, although it does contain other allergens.
- Cayenne pepper is generally well tolerated, just make sure the powder doesn’t contain onion or garlic.
Rotini and Cheese
- 2 1/4 cups uncooked pasta of your choice – I wouldn’t recommend spaghetti or fettuccine for this
- 2 cups grated cheese – I used 1 1/2 cups cheddar and 1/2 cup Parmesan)
- 1 cup/225 g/8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup natural sour cream
- 1/3 cup crushed corn cereal/GF bread crumbs
- 1 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper – believe me, it makes a difference.
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F.
Bring a pot with at least 1.0 L (4 cups) of water to the boil and add a good pinch of salt. Stir in pasta and cook at a gentle boil until al dente, following the packet guidelines.
Meanwhile, melt the cream cheese and sour cream together over a low-medium heat until combined. Gradually add in the grated cheese, 1/2 cup at a time and stir with a whisk until completely smooth. Add in the salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper and leave on a low heat until the pasta is done. Cover it with a lid to prevent a skin from forming but this shouldn’t have to sit for too long until the pasta is done.
Strain the pasta and add it into the saucepan with the cheese sauce. Stir through thoroughly and then pour the contents into a baking dish, no greasing required. Top with the crumbs of your choice and sprinkle with extra cayenne pepper. Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Let it sit for 5 minutes before cutting into it and enjoy it with a fresh side salad.