It’s pumpkin season!!!! I made homemade pumpkin pulp and have been tossing it in to all kinds of recipes. One of my favorites is this spin on mac and cheese- I love how it feels more hearty and substantial in fall with all the “warm” spices… I tried this a couple of different ways, and finally settled on the recipe below.
1 lb macaroni
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup onion, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups pumpkin pulp
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup water (you may need more if the sauce isn’t liquidy enough)
1 cup extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup milk (or heavy cream if you want a richer dish)
3 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1. While you are preparing the rest of the sauce, cook the pasta according to the package directions, but under-cook it slightly (1-2 mins less) since it will be baked later. Drain it and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.
2. In a large heavy bottom pan, heat the oil, onions, and salt on med-high. Cook these until they become translucent (~7-10 mins). Add water (a spoon at a time) if needed to keep the onions from burning on the bottom of the pan.
3. Mix the pumpkin pulp, nutmeg, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne, and water with the onions. Cook for 5 mins, stirring. If needed, add additional water to make it thin enough to be a sauce.
4. Remove from the heat. Mix in the cheddar cheese and milk/heavy cream until the mixture is uniform.
5. Mix in the cooked pasta.
6. Grease a 9 x 13 x 3 inch baking dish. Transfer the pasta to the baking dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
7. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 375 F for 30 mins. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 20 mins (top will become light brown and bubbly).