Tonight I decided to try something different after scouring the Internet for a new pumpkin recipe. Pumpkin mac and cheese seemed to the the perfect dish to bring out the savory side of pumpkin while also giving me an excuse to make something where cheese is also the superstar. I adapted this dish by combining a few recipes I saw online and by reading some reviews of those recipes. I always suggest “shopping around” for a recipe to ensure the end result is something that suits your tastes. With a few adaptations this really fit the bill for me.
First, I salted some water and brought it to a boil for my penne. As that heated up I melted my butter an added the flour letting it cook for about a minute, stirring constantly, before adding a cup of beer. This calls for an amber beer so I used Long Trail Harvest, which worked perfectly. I let this cook down to about half before adding the can of unsweetened pumpkin purée and 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar.
After adding the cheese and pumpkin I stirred for a while to incorporate everything. About this point my water was boiling so I added my penne to the water and cooked 1 minute less than the package directed for al dente, this is because the pasta will cook more in when added to the sauce and broiled in the oven.
Once the sauce was uniform I added my spices: a dash of all spice, nutmeg and cayenne pepper. Season with black pepper and salt to taste. I then drained my pasta and added it to the sauce, stirring until mixed.
After this I melted 1 tbs of butter in a bowl, added 1 tbs of olive oil, then stirred in 1.5 cups of panko bread crumbs until they were lightly buttered. I poured the macaroni mixture into a 9×12 casserole, evenly spread a cup of cheese on top and then sprinkled the bread crumb mixture. I popped it in the oven and broiled on low for about 5 minutes or until the panko was lightly browned. I have a light in my oven so I just watched it until light brown. You could always leave the door open a smidge while broiling to keep an eye on it and prevent burning if you don’t have an oven light.
After that I pulled it out and topped with some chopped parsley. Serve hot with whatever beer you used in the dish. I won’t lie I was skeptical of the recipe, but it turned out delicious! If you love pumpkin and mac and cheese you have to try this!
It was soo good even Boots wanted some…