When we woke up this morning it was 7 degrees outside, that's right I said 7 degrees. On occasions like this I look to my comfort food recipes for a yummy warm dish. My husband loves mac and cheese and I thought since we are trying to eat better adding some antioxidant rich pumpkin and some whole wheat pasta would make this childhood favorite a little bit healthier. I also find that I can adapt recipes with good for you ingredients and you really don't notice much of a difference.
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
Baking Dish 2 qt
Preheat Oven 350 degrees
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/2- 3/4 c panko breadcrumbs
- 1 can (15 oz ) pumpkin puree
- 1 cup chicken broth, low sodium
- 12 oz whole-wheat pasta shells
- 1 1/2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 c minced onion
- 1 1/2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 c 1% milk
- 2 c shredded Gouda cheese, divided
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- A few dashes of Franks Hot Sauce
- Mix 1/2 Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, set aside
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until just al dente 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
- In a small saucepan, over medium heat stir the pumpkin purée and broth together. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and keep warm.
- Melt the butter in the pasta pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and bring the mixture to a simmer; cook, whisking frequently, until the sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in half of the Gouda, the remaining Parmesan, salt, nutmeg, and hot sauce, whisk vigorously until melted and smooth. Slowly pour in the pumpkin mixture, whisking until well blended.
- Pour the pumpkin-cheese sauce over the pasta and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining Gouda and then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until the crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.
Eat and Enjoy!!