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Macaroni And Cheese Question
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I have never tried to make gluten-free mac and cheese before and I have some questions. I want to use Tinkyada pasta. In the past, I would cook the mac and cheese al dente and then I put it in the oven to bake. Would I do the same with gluten-free pasta? Does it tend to get mushy if I do both the stovetop and the baking? How long do I boil the pasta?

Second question - how does gluten free pasta freeze? My son loves taking mac and cheese to school. I want to make some and then freeze it in individual containers for him. Will it work?

Sorry about the stupid questions. gluten-free pasta is so expensive that I hate to mess this up!

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I have never tried to make gluten-free mac and cheese before and I have some questions. I want to use Tinkyada pasta. In the past, I would cook the mac and cheese al dente and then I put it in the oven to bake. Would I do the same with gluten-free pasta? Does it tend to get mushy if I do both the stovetop and the baking? How long do I boil the pasta?

Second question - how does gluten free pasta freeze? My son loves taking mac and cheese to school. I want to make some and then freeze it in individual containers for him. Will it work?

Sorry about the stupid questions. gluten-free pasta is so expensive that I hate to mess this up!

No stupid questions allowed here!

Yes, gluten free pasta can get mushy when over cooked. If in a casserole, I would under cook and add EXTRA liquid. I'm not an expert at casseroles. I do tend to make them too dry. So add extra liquid.

And never liked it enough to freeze it. But, that's just me.

You can buy Kraft Mac & Cheese in the box, throw away the pasta and use the sauce mix. Kids might remember the taste more.

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I love my gluten-free mac and cheese! I didn't need to change my recipe except to substitute gluten-free flour for the wheat flour. As for the Tinkiyada pasta, yes, you'll need to undercook it--al dente is fine, but that occurs several minutes earlier than the directions say....so you might test it. As for freezing, I've never tried freezing mac and cheese--heck, I love it so much, I manage to consume it within a couple of days.

The suggestion above is a good one, but there is also a boxed gluten-free mac and cheese sold by Trader Joe's that is identical to Kraft Mac and Cheese in the box. The directions say to boil the pasta for 10-13 minutes, and it comes out best at 10 minutes. Also, I add butter just like with the Kraft Dinner.

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I tried freezing mine once when I was still using Tinkyada pasta. It froze fine and baked up beautifully when I was ready to eat it. That happened to be about 2 days later and I no longer bother to lie to myself and say I'll freeze some and save it for later. I'll just polish off the whole pan in 2 to 3 days which is why I only make it once a month. I cook my pasta about 3 minutes less than I would normally and it seems to work out okay for me, but I use a brand I buy in bulk for about 1/3 of the cost. I just use rice flour for the sauce, it seems to take a bit longer to thicken than it did with wheat flour but it will thicken and taste as amazing as you remember it.

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I would boil just a small amount of rice pasta first, and see what it does. Bring the water to a boil, (add salt and some oil) and then place it in and time it. Like the other people mentioned, the directions on the package currently (april 2012) seem to call for too long a boil time, at least for the spaghetti type noodles, and it takes fewer minutes to cook. My spouse suspects they changed the rice they use or the processing somehow, because it used to take longer to cook. You also need to throw it in the colander and rinse it off quickly to stop it cooking, once it reaches whatever stage you wish to have it at.

Be sure to put a little oil in the casserole dish before you put the rice pasta in there, because this stuff is sticky.

The easiest mac and cheese is you just take and grate cheese over the cooked pasta, then nuke it in the microwave for a short time, until the cheese melts. You can also melt some butter in a skillet and then toss that and the grated cheese and the pasta together.

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I made mac and cheese today with Tinkyada elbows. 12 minutes works fine, then drain them. If the sauce is ready, don't even bother rinsing them off, just dump them in the sauce. It freezes well in individual servings. I adapted the sauce recipe from a box of regular elbow macaroni:

Melt 3 T butter on low heat

Add 2 T cornstarch, 1 t powdered mustard, 1 t salt

Stir to get lumps out, don't let it brown.

Add 2 c milk, raise heat and stir constantly until it boils.

Add 8 oz shredded cheese, stir until melted.

Add cooked pasta.

Put into greased casserole dish. Top with gluten-free bread crumbs if you want.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

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Thanks, all! You are seriously awesome! I was doing Annie's and all of a sudden my son stopped eating it. I'm wondering if they changed something b/c it tasted less "cheesy" to me. I can't do Kraft b/c my son seems to have a weird reaction to food dyes (he's autistic, and the past couple times we let him have dyes he seemed to get really hyper and we saw an increase in his repetitive behaviors). I'm going to have to experiment here! I've had good luck with doing gluten-free pasta on the stovetop, it was the oven part that was giving me pause. Thanks!

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