Mac and Cheese:
There is no denying it, everyone loves a good Mac and cheese right? And when I saw Jovial Foods new Grain-free cassava elbow pasta, I knew a hearty and comforting jalapeño bacon Mac and cheese had to happen.
Why Jovial Foods?
I have always loved Jovial foods gluten-free pasta. Because the texture is perfect, the taste is amazing (no cardboard tasting pasta here), and it is picky boyfriend approved. And they just released their NEW grain-free line with cassava flour and I am even more in love! Their grain-free cassava pasta only includes two ingredients, organic cassava flour and water.
First things first cook the bacon:
I like to get my bacon started first by adding it to a lined baking dish and baking 400 F for 20-25 minutes (keeping an eye on it) because I want this to be done by the time I complete the rest of the items for the Mac and cheese.
For this Mac and cheese I used my sauce from my plant based Mac and cheese recipe but gave it a little remix for a non-plant based version. And the nice thing about this sauce is even the pickiest of eaters won’t be able to tell the difference, especially with this version since I added in some jalapeño cheddar cheese.
What you will need for sauce and pasta:
- Avocado oil
- Butternut squash
- Soaked and rinsed cashews
- Fresh Sage
- Garlic cloves
- Yellow diced onions
- Vegetable broth or chicken bone broth
- Salt and pepper
- Jovial Foods Grain-free cassava elbow pasta
- Jalapeño cheddar cheese
How to prepare the sauce:
I first warm my avocado oil in a pot and then add in the onions, salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes. And then I add in the seasonings, sage, and cook until fragrant (about 2 minutes). Next, add in the chopped carrots, butternut squash, whole cloves of garlic, cashews, broth, and bring to a boil. And then cover and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are fork tender.
And once it is done, I carefully strain the liquid (be sure to reserve liquid for blending). Because by straining the liquid it allows you to control the thickness of the sauce. Add to either a high powered blender, food processor, or use an immersion blender, and blend it all up. Adding a bit of liquid as you go until you reach your desired consistency. I used about a cup of the reserved liquid for my sauce.
Preparing the pasta:
I cooked the Jovial Foods Grain-free cassava elbow pasta according to the package but only cooked for 9 minutes versus 11 minutes, since I planned on baking these too. But if you are going to skip the baking portion, cook it for 11 minutes. And once done strain the pasta and return pasta to pot. Add about 2 cups of the sauce to the pot, add the chopped bacon, cheese, and mix.
What you will need for the topping:
- Almond meal (substitute bread crumbs, nut crumbs, panko bread crumbs)
- Fresh chopped sage
- Butter or olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
How to prepare the topping:
In a small sauce pan, I add the butter and warm. And then I add the diced onions, 2 Tbsp of the sage, salt and pepper, and sauté for a few minutes, or until nice and caramelized. And then I add in the minced garlic, almond meal, and mix for a couple minutes.
Putting it all together:
And now that everything is prepped, I divide the Mac and cheese into 4 individual greased ramekins, top with the topping, and bake 400 F for 15-20 minutes. And once done, garnish with more fresh sage, and enjoy!
Here are some other comfort foods you may enjoy too:
Gluten-Free Linguini and Clams
Grain-Free Jalapeno Bacon Mac and Cheese:
Sauce Ingredients + pasta
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil
- 2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 1 medium carrot
- 1/3 cup soaked and rinsed cashews
- 2 Tbsp fresh chopped sage
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup diced yellow onions
- 2 cups vegetable broth or chicken bone broth
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup jalapeño cheddar cheese or any type of cheddar cheese you have
- 1 box of Jovial Foods Grain-Free Cassava elbow pasta
- 6 slices cooked bacon diced
- Optional: chopped jalapeno
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 2-3 Tbsp Sage reserve some for garnish
- 3 Tbsp butter Substitute olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- Add oil to a pot and warm
- Add diced onions, salt and pepper, and sauté for a 5 minutes
- Add sage and seasonings, and cook a couple minutes
- Add In chopped carrots, cashews, butternut squash, vegetable broth, garlic cloves, and bring to a boil
- Once boil, set to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are fork tender
- Carefully drain the liquid (but reserve liquid)
- In a high powered blender or with an immersion blender, blend up
- If too thick, add a little of the reserved liquid, blend, and keep adding until you reach your desired consistency
- Follow the box instructions and cook pasta stirring frequently for 9 minutes
- Drain the water and place back in the pot
- Pour 2 cups of the sauce into the pot with pasta, mix in cheese, and diced bacon
- Divide into 4 greased ramekins
- Warm butter in a small sauce pan
- Add onions, salt and pepper, sage, and sauté for a few minutes
- Add the minced garlic, almond meal, mix, and cook a couple minutes
- Top your pasta with topping
- Bake 400 F for 15-20 minutes
- Top with fresh sage