Macaroni and cheese of any kind is always a favorite around here. What I love about macaroni and cheese is that you can put just about any spin on it and make it delicious. I have had butternut squash mac and cheese in the past, so I had a feeling that pumpkin would work just fine. I couldn’t have been more right. I always have a problem with mac and cheese where it’s never creamy enough for me. No matter what I do, it’s just never creamy enough. Well this time was completely different. I really think that pumpkin took this mac and cheese to a whole new level, and from now on I don’t think I will go any other way. We paired with a SPEC-TAC-U-LAR pumpkin ale and the combination couldn’t have been more perfect. The next time you are in the need for some REAL comfort food, try this recipe on for size. It’s the perfect Fall dish that you do not want to miss out on.
I don’t have a whole lot of fun facts for macaroni and cheese. The recipe is pretty self explanatory. The only huge difference between this recipe and a regular mac and cheese recipe is the pumpkin. I really think the pumpkin gives this dish something it was totally missing. The pumpkin makes it creamier and adds a depth of flavor you can’t get with the regular stuff. So yeah. Yum. It was so great that I didn’t feel bad eating it two days in a row!
We didn’t give Anderson Valley’s Fall Hornin’ Pumpkin Ale a try last year and I’m super sad about this. It is amazing! It has the perfect notes of pumpkin, but they don’t overdo it. It pairs very well with hearty, wholesome dishes; this mac and cheese recipe included. It’s smooth and just a tad spicy. Oh and don’t you just love when GREAT breweries can? We certainly do. You can get this beer in a bottle or can, which is super awesome in our book. We love it so much that we may have stocked up…just a little =). Give this beer a try and pair it with your favorite Fall dinners!
Have a great night everyone!
Give your macaroni and cheese recipe a Fall twist and add pumpkin!
- 1 pound dry penne pasta
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 4 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup monterey jack cheese, grated
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
- green onions, sliced thin
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Salt the water and add the dry penne pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To prepare the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Gently whisk in the flour and continue to whisk until a nutty aroma fills the air, about 2-3 minutes. Very slowly, whisk in the milk. Bring the mixture to a simmer and let cook until the sauce has thickened substantially. You will know that you have reached the right consistency when you can coat the back of a spoon without major dripping. At this point, add the dried thyme, paprika, nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and pumpkin puree. Whisk the ingredients together and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in the cheeses, reserving 1/4 cup to sprinkle on top later. Stir in the cooked pasta to evenly coat.
- Grease a 9x13in baking dish (if you are using) or grease 8 individual oven safe bowls. Pour the mac and cheese in whichever vessel(s) you are using and sprinkle the reserved cheese on top. Sprinkle both types of bread crumbs on top of the cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 minutes or until the top is bubbly and brown. Remove from oven and garnish with green onion and walnuts. Serve warm and enjoy!
Hardware: * Large Stock Pot * Wooden Spoons * Large Saucepan * Whisk * Measuring Cups * Measuring Spoons * Cheese Grater * 9x13in Baking Dish or 8 Ramekins *