Thursday, September 30, 2010

Recipe Box: Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I like pumpkin. The flavor by itself is not great, but it can be added to so many things that make it delicious. Try this recipe instead of your old faithful. Don't tell a soul and see what they say. I think you will have a winner on your hands! The combination of flavors also makes this classic recipe more grown-up. Confidently serve this to your in-laws this holiday season. You can thank me later. ;)

Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese
Adapted from this recipe
Makes approximately 5-6 servings

2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup, plus 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tsp. butter, melted
1 cup cheddar cheese
1/2 c. grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp. ground mustard
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. crushed red pepper (Optional: adds a hint of kick)
salt and pepper, to taste
10 oz. your favorite small pasta (approximately 4 c. uncooked pasta-make this really healthy by using whole wheat pasta)
1/3 c. bread crumbs (you can use panko instead)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Boil pasta according to package directions until al dente.
3. Heat pumpkin puree in medium saucepan over medium to high heat. Add milk and thoroughly combine.
4. Reduce heat to low. Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, and the mozzarella cheese. Stir until melted into pumpkin mixture.
5. Add mustard, nutmeg, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper (if using), salt, and pepper.
6. Mix pumpkin sauce with drained pasta until thoroughly combined. Mix in rest of cheddar cheese.
7. Place pasta mixture in 9×9-inch casserole dish, or separate into ramekins for individual servings.
8. Mix breadcrumbs with 2 Tbsp. grated parmesan cheese. Add melted butter and mix well. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of pasta and place in oven.
9. Bake for 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are golden brown.

**Order one of these and you will look like a pro at your next dinner party or family function. Heck, bake your Pumpkin Mac & Cheese in it. How festive!