Friday, November 8, 2019

Pumpkin Mac

Just because Halloween is over doesn't mean the pumpkin flavors have to stop! I always wanted to try to create a pumpkin mac. Pumpkin is naturally a savory ingredient, but I think people automatically associate it with pie. This Mac is creamy with just a hint of pumpkin (not to mention more fiber and Vitamin A heyyyyy).

I LOVE this recipe from Rachael Ray because it doesn't have to spend any time in the oven, simply make everything on the stovetop and serve! I thought that there was too much cheese sauce at first but if you store some in the fridge for leftovers, it does dry out a bit so it's nice to have a little extra moisture (and let's be honest, there can NEVER be too much cheese).

Pumpkin Mac
Makes 4-5 servings

1 lb. macaroni, medium pasta shells, or elbow pasta
4 TBS butter
4 TBS flour
2 cups whole milk
1 can (14.5 oz.) pure pumpkin
1 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp.dry mustard
1/4 tsp. cayenne (OR a splash of your fav hot sauce)
White pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg (no more than 1/8 tsp. each), to taste
About 3 cups freshly grated yellow cheddar (3/4 lb.)
2 oz. (about 1 cup) freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Finely chopped chives, for serving


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water and add the pasta. Cook until 1 to 2 minutes shy of the package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet or medium pot, melt the butter over medium to medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour, then slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a bubble. Cook, whisking often, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low. Whisk in the pumpkin. Add the granulated garlic, dry mustard, cayenne, white pepper, and nutmeg; season with salt. Add the cheeses. Stir in a figure-eight motion until the cheeses melt into the sauce, a minute or two.

3. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce. Add the cooking water a little at a time if the sauce is too thick. Top with the chives.

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