Pumpkin mac and cheese?
When I first saw this recipe via Endless Simmer, I was both intrigued and skeptical — I mean, pumpkin and cheese?
First thing was first: I had to put the “bad” back into this mac and cheese. The original recipe called for silly things like low-fat cheddar, almond milk, wheat pastry flour, and garbanzo beans. Oh nonono — none of that.
I used an aged white cheddar, whole milk, all-purpose flour, and hard-boiled eggs, since I didn’t have any garbanzo beans on hand and I was too lazy and grumpy to walk back to the store I’d just been at. Anyways, lemme tell you… this wasn’t a disaster at all.
In fact, the results were indeed glorious.
Pumpkin, aged cheddar, and egg! Who knew!
Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese
*adapted from (never home)maker
- 1 & 1/2 cups dry elbow macaroni
- 1 tablespoon butter (or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 3/4 cup whole milk
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 2 large hard-boiled eggs, pureed
- 1 & 1/2 cups white cheddar, grated
- 1 shallow cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon salt (or more, if needed)
- pinch of paprika
- pinch of thyme
- parmesan, parsley, pepper, or breadcrumbs, to garnish
Hard-boil and puree two large eggs. Shred your cheddar. Scoop your pumpkin. Get all the ingredients ready.
Boil your pasta as per directions.
While your pasta is boiling, heat another large sauce pan or pot on the stove. Over medium heat, melt your 1 tablespoon of butter. As soon as your butter is melted, whisk in your 1 tablespoon of flour. Whisk them together constantly over medium heat for at least 2 to 3 minutes. This fat+flour mix is the base of a roux, which will become your pumpkin-cheese sauce.
After a couple minutes of cooking your butter+flour together, slowly pour the milk into the pot, whisking vigorously and constantly. You want the end result to be smooth and consistent.
Add pinch (or two) of paprika, thyme, and crushed garlic, and cook another minute. Next, whisk in egg and cheddar — you want the cheddar to melt and mix in evenly.
Once your cheddar is melted, whisk in your pumpkin and salt. Cook the sauce another minute, heating it through.
Take a taste to see if your sauce needs more salt (mine needed more).
Finally, drain your pasta and pour the noodles into the sauce. Toss to coat well and serve it up hot!
This is one of those awesome recipes where the whole of it’s flavourful, creamy deliciousness is so much more than the sum of its parts.
I had some on Friday before I went out, came back about 10 hours later and had a bit before bed, woke up and went straight to it for breakfast, and now I’m packing the rest up for dinner at work I ate the rest for lunch. It’s going to be all gone within 24 hours, and, when it’s gone, I’m going to be thinking about making more.
It’s that fantastic! Yum!