The inspiration for this dish came from when we went to Sangria in Royal Oak, MI for tapas with some of my friends. Nick and my cousin shared a plate of chorizo and manchego cheese – and he had to figure out a way to make this small plate into a full blown meal. So, we made gluten-free macaroni and cheese with manchego – Nick added chorizo and roasted red peppers to his, and I added zucchini and peppers to mine.
Manchego Mac and Cheese
2 oz. chorizo
or one small zucchini
2 green onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup roasted red peppers, diced
8 oz. gluten free macaroni (I used Tinkyada)
3 cups grated Manchego cheese
2 T. butter
2 T. gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose mix)
2 c. milk
1/4 t. paprika
salt and pepper
8 slices of gluten free bagel
1/8 c. parmesan cheese
Heat up some olive oil in a frying pan and saute the sliced chorizo (or zucchini). Remove the chorizo and saute the green onions and garlic in the chorizo oil (I just threw in the garlic and green onions with my zucchini). Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water until the pasta is just tender. Once it is cooked, drain the pasta and then add the chorizo, green onions, garlic, and the piquillo peppers and mix everything together. I rinse my pasta in cold water after draining to make sure it doesn’t stick together. We split up the macaroni into two batches to keep the veggie part separated.
To make the cheese sauce, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Whisk in the flour and let the roux cook for a few minutes while continuing to whisk it together. Slowly whisk in the milk, about 1/4 cup at a time, making sure to get out the lumps. Season the sauce base with the paprika and let it gently simmer, stirring often, for 10-15 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in 3 cups of Manchego cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Pour the cheese sauce over the macaroni and mix everything together. Pour into a greased pan, and top with the slices of bagel (I sprayed them first with olive oil spray). Sprinkle parmesan cheese over top and put into the oven.
Bake the macaroni and cheese in a 350 F degree oven until the croutons are browned and the cheesy top is bubbling. You can put the broiler on for the last few minutes to really crisp up the top.
The only downside to this dish is that Manchego cheese is pricey (about $8 for a block). You could use cheddar and it would be just as good. The croutons really make the mac and cheese interesting and add a crunchy treat to each bite.
So yummy. We ate the whole thing. And I’d do it again.