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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Mac and cheese, with an autumnal twist. It’s creamy, cheesy and velvety, with just a hint of spice. It’s cheesy pasta at its finest – what’s not to love? The beauty of this dish is that you can customise it to your liking. You can use whatever combination of cheese you’d like, and if you’re not a fan of pumpkin, you can swap it out for butternut squash or even sweet potato.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Pasta, Vegetarian

Ingredients

Scale
  • 300 g dried macaroni or shells
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsps plain flour
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • 600 ml whole milk
  • 350 g pumpkin purée
  • 250 g grated cheese, reserve for topping
  • 60 g grated parmigiano reggiano
  • ½ tsp English mustard powder
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  •  tsp cayenne pepper, optional

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 220℃/fan 200℃. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta and cook until just short of al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Then add the onion and garlic granules and cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Gradually whisk in the milk and increase the heat to medium-high; we’re making a very loose béchamel (the pumpkin purée will thicken it up).
  4. Bring the béchamel to a simmer, whisking often. Whisk in the pumpkin purée and bring the sauce back to a simmer.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Whisk in the grated cheese, parmigiano reggiano, mustard powder and smoked paprika. Taste and season with sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste.
  6. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Pour the mac and cheese into a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese.
  8. Bake at 220℃ / 200℃ for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Notes

You can use a four cheese mix. I used equal parts red Leicester, double Gloucester, sharp cheddar and mozzarella.

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