How do you fancy a stunningly smooth, creamy cheese sauce with a harissa kick, generously enveloping perfectly cooked pasta and topped with a sprinkling of impossibly tempting cheese? And how about if the whole dish is gluten-free?
Well, thanks to MasterChef UK 2016 Champion Jane Devonshire, I have the perfect recipe for you that ticks every single box that good mac and cheese should tick - it's comforting, creamy, smooth and delicious.
This harissa mac and cheese recipe is featured in Jane's debut cookbook, Hassle Free Gluten Free, which has been released in association with Coeliac UK, and features 100 delicious and easy-to-make recipes.
Jane's inspiration comes from feeding her 14-year-old son, who has coeliac disease - a lifelong autoimmune disease that means it's essential he doesn't consume any gluten. With so many years of experience creating comforting meals for her family, it's no surprise that Hassle Free Gluten Free is packed with fantastically tasty dishes that everyone will love.
In Jane's book, you'll find everything from soups, to pasta, cakes, to arancini - there's something to please everyone.
I decided to make her harissa mac and cheese to share with you all. It's a wonderfully creamy, moreish dish, and the addition of harissa is absolutely inspired. We all love it.
About this dish, Jane writes:
"If I fed Ben his favourite mac and cheese every day, he would be in heaven - I think it's the whole teenage carb-loading thing. This recipe is for my standard cheese sauce, which works perfectly every time with this quantity of pasta. The addition of harissa gives it a bit of spice and a lovely warming feel for those cold nights, however I have been known to throw leeks, ham, lots of vegetables and other things that need eating up into the pasta just before it goes into the oven - it's one of those wonderfully adaptable dishes."
Here's how to make it.
- 400g (14.1 oz) gluten free pasta
- 6 tbsp cornflour
- 800ml (1.7 pts) milk, plus a little for making the cornflour paste
- 250g (8.8 oz) extra-mature cheddar cheese, grated, plus extra for sprinkling
- 50g (1.8 oz) parmesan, grated
- 2 tbsp harissa paste, check pack to ensure gluten-free
- pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and parboil for 6-7 minutes; it needs to be about half-cooked. Drain the pasta and set aside.
Mix the cornflour with a little milk until it is the consistency of double cream.
Put the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly add the cornflour paste, stirring or whisking all the time. Keep stirring/whisking for a couple of minutes – the milk will thicken quickly but you need to cook out the cornflour.
Remove from the heat and immediately add the Cheddar and Parmesan. Beat in until you have a smooth, thick cheese sauce.
Add the harissa paste and salt and stir in.
Add the partially cooked pasta, stir through.
(Look at how gorgeous and creamy it is!!)
Place in a baking dish (my pan was ovenproof so I didn't need to) and sprinkle over a little extra cheddar cheese (I put quite a large handful on because J and JD like a crisp cheese top on their mac and cheese with all the creamy goodness beneath).
Place in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. This is best eaten as soon as you can without the cheese burning your mouth.
We are so impressed, Jane! This recipe out-of-this-world delicious! Don't forget to pick up Jane's book for yourself. It's available to buy now!
What did you think of this delicious gluten-free harissa mac and cheese recipe? Will you give it a go?
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Gluten free harissa mac and cheese
- 400 g (14.11 oz) gluten-free pasta I use penne or fusilli as gluten-free macaroni can be hard to find
- 6 tbsp cornflour
- 800 ml (1.69 pt) milk plus a little extra for making the cornflour paste
- 250 g (8.82 oz) extra-mature Cheddar cheese grated, plus extra for sprinkling (vegetarian if required)
- 50 g (1.76 oz) Parmesan or vegetarian hard cheese alternative grated
- 2 tbsp harissa paste make sure it's gluten-free
- pinch sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/400°F/Gas Mark 6. Bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and parboil for 6-7 minutes; it needs to be about half-cooked. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- Mix the cornflour with a little milk until it is the consistency of double cream.
- Put the milk into a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and slowly add the cornflour paste, stirring or whisking all the time. Keep stirring/whisking for a couple of minutes – the milk will thicken quickly but you need to cook out the cornflour.
- Remove from the heat and immediately add the Cheddar and Parmesan. Beat in until you have a smooth, thick cheese sauce.
- Add the harissa paste and salt and stir in, then add the partially cooked pasta, stir through, and place in a baking dish.
- Sprinkle over a little extra Cheddar cheese and place in the oven for 30 minutes, until golden and bubbling. This is best eaten as soon as you can without the cheese burning your mouth.
Bloomsbury sent me a copy of the book. Recipe reproduced with permission.
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