Monday, October 22, 2012

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

Serves 8
Recipe by Jill Melton from Relish Magazine
Husband-Tested in Alice’s Kitchen

By adding pumpkin to this all-time favorite dish, you’ll not only be adding a very subtle pumpkin flavor, but also fabulous color to your meal, fiber, lots of vitamin A, calcium, iron and vitamin C.  Toast some pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet until they begin to pop and turn brown and then top the dish off with those instead of using breadcrumbs. Eat this right off the stove or bake it in the oven.  ***Note:  This tastes great and especially creamy right from the stove, so if you could definitely skip baking this dish in the oven.

3 cups uncooked penne pasta or fusilli pasta (I used whole-wheat fusilli pasta.)
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons flour
2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (I used skim milk.)
3/4 cup canned pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted (Optional)

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.*** (I used cooking spray.) Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain.  Place into a large bowl. Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat until foamy. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in milk, making sure there are no lumps. Cook until thickened.  Add pumpkin puree and mix well. Remove from heat. Add cheeses, salt, nutmeg and black pepper. When cheese is melted combine with drained noodles. Pour into baking pan.  (You can make the dish to this point and then chill up to a day.)  Bake uncovered 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly.  Top with toasted pumpkin seeds, if using.

Nutritional information per serving:
(There will be more fiber and less fat in each serving if you use whole wheat pasta and skim milk.) Calories 411; Fat 19g; Saturated Fat 11g; Cholesterol 59mg; Sodium 302mg; Carbohydrate 38g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 5g; Protein 21g

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