October 23, 2011

FIVE DAYS OF HALLOWEEN: PUMPKIN MAC AND CHEESE!


Posted by Lori~

That’s right…Ethne and I are starting 5 days of Halloween in preparation for October 31.  Halloween is one of our favorite days…nothing is better than a night of dressing up and craziness—right people?

I love squash, sweet potatoes, and of course anything pumpkin.  And the best part of this recipe is that I used pumpkin from last year’s Halloween!  Making fresh pumpkin and freezing it is simple.  Simply bake in a shallow pan until soft (like squash).  Then peel of the skin and puree.  I then freeze in margarine containers and label.  Simply thaw when you are ready to cook.


This recipe was found on Rachel Ray’s website (and was featured on her show).  It’s simple and YUM!

Ingredients needed:

1 pound whole wheat pasta (I ended up using egg noodles—already had in the cupboard)

4 Tablespoons butter

3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour

1 cup amber beer

2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

2 cups whole milk

A couple of pinches ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground mustard

A pinch of cayenne pepper

Nutmeg to taste

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups pureed pumpkin (or 1 14-ounce can)

2 ½ cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese

Paprika for sprinkling

Chopped parsley or chives



Instructions:

Cook your noodles until al dente (salt the water, drain, and reserve).

Melt butter in a medium saucepan.  Whisk in flour, cook for 1 minute, then raise heat a bit and add beer.  Reduce until almost evaporated then whisk in honey or syrup and milk (I used fresh honey—that’s right..Straight off the farm).  Season with cloves, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.  Thicken to coat spoon, a couple of minutes, then taste to adjust seasoning.





Whisk in pumpkin puree then stir in about 2 cups grated cheese until melted.  Combine pasta with sauce and arrange in a casserole or individual ramekins (Unfortunately, I do not have ramekins, but I think this would have been better).  Sprinkle remaining cheese and a light dusting of paprika.  Broil to brown and bubble.  Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.






This recipe is perfect for a Halloween and who doesn’t love mac and cheese (and this recipe seems healthier---right?)!  YUMMY!  ENJOY!



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