Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
 
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 3 Tbls. butter (plus extra for topping)
  • 3 Tbls. flour
  • 3 C. whole milk
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • ½ tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbls. dijon mustard
  • 2½ C. sharp cheddar cheese (white or orange, I used mostly white) + extra for topping
  • ¾ C. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ¾ C. pumpkin puree
  • ½ C. panko breadcrumbs
  • fresh thyme for garnish*
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Fill large pot with water,1 tsp. salt. and cook pasta according to package directions, except cook it a couple minutes less than directed so the pasta is al dente (it will cook more in the oven). Drain and set aside.
  3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk well, cooking the flour/butter mixture about a minute or so. Slowly add milk while continuing to whisk. Bring milk mixture to a simmer and continue cooking and stirring mixture until sauce is thickened a bit, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and dijon. Stir well to combine. Add pumpkin and stir to combine, then add cheeses and stir until cheese melts. Remove from heat and add sauce to pasta. Toss well, then put pasta in casserole dish. Sprinkle more cheese on top, followed by panko. Dot with additional butter.
  5. Bake about 20-30 minutes, until hot and bubbly and the topping is golden brown.
  6. Garnish with fresh thyme.
*I loved the fresh thyme on top and added even more when eating this. Next time I will add some with the seasonings. If you like thyme, I suggest adding some to the sauce!
Recipe by I'm Bored, Let's Go... at http://www.imbored-letsgo.com/pumpkin-macaroni-cheese/