Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

I would like to start my post today by saying that my thoughts and prayers are with everyone up North affected by Hurricane Sandy.  Watching the coverage on TV has stirred up many emotions and memories of the first time a hurricane actually impacted my life.  We moved to Pensacola in May of 2004 and Hurricane Ivan hit in September.  I know that actually living through a disaster is nothing like watching it on television.  My heart goes out to you.
Now, on a lighter note…if you’re like me, you think of pumpkin as an ingredient in dishes such as pies, bars, or breads.  Anything sweet, but usually not savory dishes.  Initially, I really didn’t think this dish was something I would like.  Then, I  remembered seeing a sauce at Williams-Sonoma over the weekend…Pumpkin Parmesan Pasta Sauce.  I love anything Williams-Sonoma so I took a second look at the recipe.
This is my take of a recipe I found on Better Homes and Gardens website.  After reading reviews of their recipe I came up with this.  It is quite delicious!  In fact, I liked it before I baked it too.  So, serving it simply as a pasta sauce would be great.

 

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 8 oz. dried penne or elbow pasta
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 6½ oz. goat Gouda cheese, grated
  • 3 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp. snipped fresh sage
  • 2-3 tbsp. panko bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1-2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Sage leaves, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain cooked pasta, then return to pot.
  3. 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 snipped sage until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer macaroni and cheese to prepared dish.
  4. In a small bowl combine bread crumbs, oil and Parmesan; sprinkle over pasta. If desired, top with a few sage leaves. Bake, uncovered, for 15 - 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
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