A Fall Twist - Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
- 1 pound macaroni
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon finely grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
- 8 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, coarsely grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta as directed on package. Drain.
- Melt butter in a large, high-sided pan over medium heat. When the butter begins to bubble, add the flour. Cook, whisking constantly 2 to 3 minutes until the butter smells fragrant and nutty — the color of the butter-flour mixture will turn light brown.
- While whisking, slowly pour in the milk. Continue to cook, whisking constantly until the sauce bubbles and thickens.
- Season the sauce with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and mustard.
- Add the pumpkin puree and three-quarters of the grated cheese. Stir until the cheese has melted and the sauce is smooth.
- Taste the sauce for seasoning and adjust with more salt or pepper.
- Mix the cooked pasta into the sauce until well coated then spoon into the prepared baking dish, top with remaining cheese.
- Bake the macaroni and cheese, uncovered, until golden brown on top, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
- Top with fried sage, or breadcrumbs and enjoy with a nice green salad!