Making this creamy pumpkin mac and cheese is a good enough reason to buy tinned pumpkin puree year round.
But, with thanksgiving just around the corner, you might already have some at home, or can easily source it. If you’re tired of all those festive meals, and need to refuel with something comforting, this is the recipe to make.
I find amusing that this pasta bake looks like the gourmet version of a Kraft dinner meal. You know, this American boxed mac and cheese made with cardboard pasta and orange powdered cheese that is definitely too bright to be close to anything real.
However repulsive this dorm food might be to adults, if you’ve had the pleasure to eat it as a kid, I’m sure its flavour has stuck with you and, like a good McDonald meal, you still crave it from time to time.
Well, this recipe definitely does not taste the same–believe me, it’s ten times more delicious–but at least its colour will help you relish in childhood memories while feeding you with some of your five a day.
“Hidden vegetables aren’t only for children.”
Hidden vegetables aren’t only for children. Once you discover how satisfying this recipe is, you will never go back to plain old cheese macaroni and cheese. Hiding those much needed nutrients can be so easy.
Here’s the recipe:
- 150g Macaroni, or any other pasta shape you fancy
- 15g Butter
- 1/2 Onion, chopped finely
- 1 Garlic clove, crushed
- 1/2 a 425g Tinned Pumpkin Puree
- 15g (4 tsp) Plain Flour
- 350 ml Milk
- 70g Cheddar, grated
- 30g (1/2 cup) Parmesan, grated
- 1 tbsp (about 6 big leaves) Sage, finely chopped
- 12g (1/4 cup) Panko
- 2 Bacon rasher, cut width way into 0.5 cm strips
- Olive Oil
- First, turn the oven on to 180°C/350°F and bring a pot of water to the boil. Then cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
- Meanwhile, finely chop the onion. Put into a pan over medium heat with the butter and crushed garlic and cook until soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree to the pan and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin loosens, and turns a bit darker.
- Stir in the flour, cook for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the milk. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the meantime, grate the cheddar and chopped the bacon, keep aside.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain, keeping so of the water and leave to one side.
- In a small bowl, mix the grated Parmesan, the finely chopped sage and panko. Season with salt and pepper and keep aside.
- Once the pumpkin sauce has thickened, remove from the heat, add the grated cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the pasta and a bit of its cooking water to loosen the sauce before transferring to an ovenproof baking dish. Sprinkle the panko and sage mix on top, followed by the bacon bits.
- Drizzle some olive oil and bake until bubbly and crispy on top. About 20-25 minutes
Need inspiration to use your leftover Pumpkin puree? Here’s what’s inspired me.
These recipes might not be for one, but they will hopefully inspire you to get creative in your kitchen and avoid wasting ingredients.
1. Make a spiced pumpkin triffle
2. Add it to a curry
3. Make a soup
4. Make vegan pumpkin pancakes
5. Make your own pumpkin spice latte at home
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