Pumpkin Mac & Cheese


Today’s recipe I have Rachael Ray to thank for. I saw this recipe on her show just the other day and had to try it. I did change it a little bit from her recipe but not too drastic. If you want to check her original recipe go to her show site at Rachael Ray Show.

Just a warning also, this makes a huge amount of mac and cheese so make sure you have many hungry people to eat it! I’m sending leftovers with my husband to his office! I made this as a side dish to my Spicy Garlic Barbecued Ribs. It was a friend’s birthday and he loves the ribs so I had to make something else to go with it. I really wanted to make my Best Garlic Smashed Cauliflower, Ever! But alas he doesn’t really like cauliflower and I didn’t think I should try and trick him on his birthday.

This recipe came out really good. I had a huge serving and was stuffed! The fiber from the pumpkin and whole wheat pasta really fills you up! The house smelled so good while it was cooking also! I was trying to convince myself it really was fall outside so I needed “fall smells”. Florida Fall doesn’t really start till December so I had to improvise. I will also be eating this several more times for lunch this week! Oh well, I will have to suffer through!

"Before"

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound whole wheat or whole grain short-cut pasta. (I used rotelli)

4 tablespoons butter

3 slightly rounded tablespoons soy flour (Rachael uses regular flour)

1 cup amber beer

2 tablespoons agave nectar (Rachael uses honey or maple syrup)

2 cups half-and-half (Rachael uses whole milk)

½ teaspoon allspice (you can also use ground cloves)

1 teaspoon ground mustard

½-1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (my husband says I should use Sirracha)

Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

salt and pepper to taste (I found it needed more salt)

1 can (14-15 ounce) pumpkin purée or 2 cups fresh pureed pumpkin (NOT PUMPKIN PIE MIX)

2½ cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Paprika for sprinkling on top

"After"

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt it and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat oven to broil.

  2. Melt the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.

  3. Raise the heat a little and add the beer. Reduce until almost evaporated.

  4. Whisk in the agave nectar and half-and-half. Season with the allspice, mustard, cayenne and a little bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste.

  5. Thicken to coat a wooden spoon, just a couple more minutes. Taste to see if you need to adjust the seasonings.

  6. Whisk in the pumpkin and stir in about 2 cups of the grated cheese with a wooden spoon until melted.

  7. Add the sauce to the pasta in a large bowl. It’s easier to mix in a big bowl.

  8. Add to a casserole dish or individual ramekins. (I used a casserole dish). Dust with a little paprika.

  9. Broil to brown and bubbly! Serve!

Serves 4-6

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