I saw this recipe in the October 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens Magazine and then adapted it a bit (I changed the cheese to cheddar and macaroni to bow ties, changed the heavy cream to whole milk and added a bit more sage). It was an amazing dish! The pumpkin isn’t overpowering, it melts right in and neither is it heavy on the cheese. Lets say that it cured my cravings and the guys loved it. And it pulled together quickly which is always a bonus….
Pumpkin and Sage Mac and Cheese
- 8 ounces small pasta shapes (used bow ties)
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt, or to taste
- 2 cups whole milk
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese , shredded or diced
- 15 ounce can pumpkin (Canned Pumpkin)
- 1 tsp rubbed sage or 1 Tbsp fresh, diced
- ½ cup soft bread crumbs (1 heel of DKB Blues Bread)
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (jarred is fine)
- 1/3 cup finely diced walnuts
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven to 350°.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, cook the pasta for time on package, drain.
Meanwhile in a heavy medium saucepan over medium melt the butter, add in the flour and S&P and whisk to combine. Let cook for a couple of minutes and then add in the milk, whisking while pouring in. Stir in the sage and let cook, whisking often, until the sauce thickens slightly and starts bubbling. Add in the cheese, then the pumpkin, stir until smooth.
Add the hot pasta to the sauce and stir well, pour into an 8×8″ glass baking dish.
To prepare the topping –
To make the soft breadcrumbs, run the bread through a mini food chopper. Add it to a medium mixing bowl with the Parmesan cheese and the walnuts (use a food chopper as well to dice small). Stir in the oil.
Sprinkle evenly over the pasta and bake for 30 minutes.