Monday, May 12, 2014

Pumpkin year-round

I am aware that it's springtime, but for some reason I wanted to open a can of pumpkin. I don't know what got into me. I made this pumpkin mac 'n cheese, and my whole family was happy with it. It's something different from the ordinary, and it's fast and easy to make. We will definitely remember this one for when fall rolls around.

The recipe is adapted from Taste and Tell. The ingredients are kind of crazy, so I recommend going on faith. Don't taste the sauce until it's all put together. Then you'll love it! I could have eaten it like a soup.


8 oz. whole wheat penne*
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1 tsp. ground mustard
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
Shake of cayenne pepper
1/2 c. chicken broth
1 Tbsp. honey OR brown sugar
1 c. milk
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 1/2 c. shredded sharp cheddar, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan. While it melts, put flour and seasonings in a small bowl. When butter is melted, whisk in flour mixture until smooth, then whisk in chicken broth. Mixture will start to thicken quite rapidly. Mix in milk and honey and continue cooking until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Whisk in pumpkin, then 2 cups cheese.

Preheat broiler to high. Combine pasta and sauce in 9x13 dish. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese and place in oven. Broil until cheese is melted, bubbling and browning in spots.

*Don't substitute enriched noodles. This isn't just a health thing. The ingredients are written to complement the nutty flavor of whole wheat, and it makes a huge difference. I made this recipe both ways, and my entire family thought the whole wheat version was way better. The enriched version lacked flavor.

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