This dish is a version of traditional macaroni and cheese—I have snuck in some fruits and veggies that should get by the most discerning palate. It has been kid-tested—and they loved it. They even asked for seconds . . .
4 cups (1 L) dried gluten-free macaroni
3 Tbsp (45 mL) butter
1/2 cup (125 mL) finely chopped celery
1 cup (250 mL) cubed apple (tart, like Granny Smith)
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onions
Salt and pepper to taste
2 1/2 sweet potatoes
3/4 cup (185 mL) half-and-half cream
1 cup (250 mL) gluten-free chicken or veggie stock
1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
1 cup (250 mL) freshly grated, raw sharp cheddar or Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) ground nutmeg
1/2 cup (125 mL) chopped pistachios
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water, until al dente (check instructions on package). Drain and set aside.
2. Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes and cook them in boiling salted water until soft. This should yield approx. 2 cups (500 mL) cubed potatoes.
3. In a medium pan, sauté in butter the celery, apple, and onions until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the sweet potato and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes.
4. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, the sweet potato mixture, cream, stock, Parmesan cheese, cheddar or Gruyere, parsley, ground nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Mix well.
5. In a medium greased baking dish, spread the mixture evenly. Sprinkle the pistachios on top and bake at 385°F (195°C) for 25 to 30 minutes until everything is melted and bubbly. Top with extra Parmesan.
Makes 6 servings
Why not try . . . pumpkin or butternut squash instead of the sweet potato? You could also use Arborio rice as your base, or to make it lower fat, use more stock and cream.