Food & Wine

Mon, 4 Dec, 2017Danielle McCarthy

‘Mac and cheese’ pasta

‘Mac and cheese’ pasta

Although this dish contains no cheese, it is bright yellow and creamy, so is reminiscent of conventional mac and cheese. Using gluten-free pasta doesn’t change the texture or taste, because this form of pasta tastes exactly like wheat-based pasta. You can use any shape of pasta, although I prefer the squiggly shapes because they hold onto the sauce well. Cook the sauce first, before you start cooking the pasta, because it will take longer than most pasta varieties to cook.

Serves: 4–6


  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup peeled and cubed butternut pumpkin (squash), seeds removed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and quartered
  • 4–5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup macadamia or cashew nuts
  • 1½ cups rice milk
  • juice and rind of 1 large lemon
  • salt, to taste
  • 250 grams/9 ounces (dried) gluten-free pasta
  • pesto of choice


1. In a saucepan, combine the carrot, pumpkin, onion and garlic. Pour over the water and place over a medium heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, then remove from the heat.

2. Meanwhile, combine the nuts, rice milk and lemon juice in a blender (reserve the rind for later use). Blend until smooth and creamy.

3. Add the cooked vegetables to the blender and blend again until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Season with salt.

4. Cook the pasta as per the package instructions.

5. Pour the sauce over the pasta and serve immediately topped with the lemon rind and pesto of choice.


  • Add a 500-gram (17-ounce) bottle of pasta sauce to the blended sauce before tossing with the pasta to increase nutrient density. Serve with pesto.
  • To make a delicious soup, simply increase the rice milk to 3 cups and add ½ cup tomato paste to the sauce, heating slowly. Serve with pesto.

Book Cover

Extracted from Feed Your Brain: the Cookbook by Delia McCabe available from and wherever good books are sold. RRP $34.99. Image credit: Vanessa Russell.