Recipe: Pumpkin Mac n Cheese

We were lucky to have the opportunity to gather with friends last weekend to enjoy a potluck Friendsgiving.  It was a delicious experience! Folks brought so many tasty dishes, everything from classics like Green Bean Casserole and Veggie Casserole to a boozy Cranberry Conserve and even some bacon loaded Brussel Sprouts.  Let’s just say I’m glad I wore some stretchy pants (aka my maternity leggings that I still wear because they are so so so comfortable.  Seriously – how did I not buy these before I got pregnant!?).

I had the hardest time deciding what dish to bring for sharing with the group.  Folks had already laid their claim to many of the staples like stuffing, turkey, casseroles, etc – so I needed to get creative.  After a bit of debating, I decided to take a stab at making some Pumpkin Mac n Cheese.

It was a perfect blend of creative, classic, and comforting.  Loaded with cheese it tasted delicious, and the pumpkin added a hint of sweetness but more importantly made the entire dish have a decadent velvety texture.  I may add pumpkin to my mac from here on out after seeing how thick it made the sauce.

 

pumpkin-mac
Image Credit: Better Homes & Gardens 

Pumpkin Mac n Cheese
Serves 8

  • 16oz dried cavatappi pasta 
  • tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • teaspoons salt, divided
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • cup whipping cream
  • cup whole milk
  • ounces (2 cups) Fontina and/or Gouda cheese(s), shredded (2 cup)
  • 2 – 15 ounce cans pure pumpkin pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf sage, crushed
  • cup panko crumbs
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
  2. For cheese sauce, in a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add whipping cream and milk all at once. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened and bubbly. Stir in cheese, pumpkin, and sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to an ungreased 2-quart rectangular baking dish.
  3. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, 1 tsp salt, Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

 

Adapted from: Better Homes & Gardens

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