I’ve been teasing this gluten free halloumi pasta bake on Instagram for a while now. I apologise, I’m not normally that slow (I am) or intentionally withholding (mood dependent.) I made the pasta bake for my good pals at Williams Sonoma, and they’re available on recipe cards in Williams Sonoma stores right now. Hence the brake pump.
I’m super excited to share the recipe both with Williams Sonoma and with you. Williams Sonoma kindly shared with me the magic that is cooking in a cast iron skillet (which I used for this recipe) so it seemed only appropriate to share something magically halloumi related.
This pasta is gluten free, vegetarian, and FODMAP friendly. It is also nut free, if you choose to omit the toasted hazelnuts. The white wine is completely optional: decadent, but not necessary if you don’t fancy it. The instructions will guide you in adding or omitting it.
GLUTEN FREE HALLOUMI PASTA BAKE: THE SPECS
I get asked a lot about my favourite gluten free pasta brand on Instagram, so I figured I’d let you in on my secrets. My favourite is Olive Green Organics, which I buy at my local health food store. If that’s not open, I use Barilla gluten free pasta.
In terms of halloumi, I generally buy the uneven lumpy packets at the supermarket, without flavour. I’ve recently been told that Vic Market sells halloumi without packaging, which is A+++ and that’s what I’ll be trying to buy from now on, when I can.
As mentioned previously, you can make this without the hazelnuts, for a nut free option, and without the white wine. There are instructions in the recipe for omitting the white wine, because I get that some people don’t drink or are feeding kids, whatever the case.
You could also add some extra greens to make this a bit more of a balanced dish. Some spinach or broccolini would probably be a great addition.
White sauce, pumpkin and halloumi pasta bake
FOR THE GLUTEN FREE HALLOUMI PASTA BAKE:
- 500 g pumpkin
- 3 tablespoons gluten free cornflour
- 3 tablespoons butter 60g
- 2 1/2 - 3 cups milk full cream, full cream lactose free or soy work well
- 1/2 cup white wine of choice you can substitute milk if you like
- 1/2-1 teaspoon nutmeg
- Sea salt to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 100 g halloumi grated, plus remainder of the packet sliced (for the top)
- 100 g finely and freshly grated parmesan
- 50 g toasted hazelnuts optional, omit for a nut free option
- 300 g gluten free pasta penne and spaghetti both work well, but you can use whatever you like
- Herb of choice optional, but basil or sage work well
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Chop the pumpkin into small, bite sized cubes. Space it evenly on a baking tray, spray with olive oil, and cook for around 20 minutes, or until it is just cooked through but still firm. It will continue to cook in the pasta bake.
- While the pumpkin is cooking, place a large pot of salted water over a high heat, and bring to the boil. Add the pasta, and just cook until al dente, as per the packet instructions. The pasta will continue to cook in the bake, so make sure it isn’t mushy and overcooked. Turn the heat off, drain the pasta and return it to the pot, reserving a little starch water to keep the pasta from sticking together while you assemble the dish.
- Grate the cheeses and measure out the ingredients for the white sauce. If you like a saucier pasta, use the higher amount of milk – 3 cups if you’re not using white wine, 2-1/2 if you are using white wine. If you like a thicker sauce, use less liquid – 2 1/2 cups of milk if you are not using white wine, or 2 cups of milk and 1/2 cup of white wine if you are.
- Add the butter to a medium saucepan over a medium heat, and allow it to melt. You can use olive oil as a substitute, if you prefer. Once melted and/or warm, add the corn flour, and whisk to combine. Add the liquids, and continue whisking over the medium heat until the sauce thickens. This could take anywhere from 5-10 minutes, depending on the volume of liquid you are using.
- Once the sauce has thickened, add the cheeses, ditch the whisk, and stir well to combine. When they have melted, add the nutmeg, pepper, and salt to taste.
- Add the white sauce to the pasta, and stir well to combine. Once the pasta is coated, add the pumpkin and herbs, and gently stir them through.
- Turn the oven to the grill setting. Transfer the pasta into the Lodge cast iron pot, and top with the remaining halloumi. Give the top a spray with olive oil, and cook the bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on top. Top with herbs and serve immediately.