Friday, October 17, 2014

Smokey Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

 I have a confession. I love pumpkin. All things pumpkin. I am the girl they joke about as being basic and making fall all about pumpkin flavored everything. I am completely okay with that, LOL. So when i found a pumpkin mac & cheese recipe on pinterest, i knew i had to make it my own.

1 box of pasta(I like penne for my mac & cheese, the ridges on it hold the cheese sauce well)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 a yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 small container plain greek yogurt
1 cup of chicken or vegetable broth or stock
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (i use a tad more, i love paprika!)
2 cups of grated smoked gouda
1/2 cup of grated smoked gruyere
1/4 cup of flour
Heavy cream to taste, about 1/4 cup
1/2 grated cheddar
1/4-1/2 cup breadcrumbs or panko (i like the crunch of panko)
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by cooking the pasta to al dente, drain and set aside.
In the same pot, heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the pumpkin and the greek yogurt, stir until smooth, cooking for 2 minutes. Turn the heat to medium low and add the stock and the paprika, stir until smooth, cooking for 3 or 4 minutes.

In a bowl toss the gouda and gruyere with the flour. Then slowly add the cheese to the sauce, stiring until smooth and melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once the cheese is melted, add in the pasta, tossing gently to combine. Make sure to get all the cheese sauce coating the pasta. If the sauce looks to thick, stir in some heavy cream, I use about 1/4 cup. (I eyeball it so i'm not sure on the exact measure) Pour the pasta into a baking dish, i use a 9x13 casserole dish. Top with the cheddar and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 12-18 minutes, till the cheese on top is melted.

It comes out of the oven bubbly and cheesy and delicious.
The pumpkin flavor is not overpowering, the smokey cheeses are great with the paprika. It's a delicious, grown up mac & cheese. Move over kraft, this is the real deal!

If you try this recipe let me know what you think!

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