Thanksgiving Week: Pumpkin Mac And Cheese - Sweet Potato Chronicles - Sweet Potato Chronicles

Thanksgiving Week: Pumpkin Mac And Cheese

I love thanks­giv­ing. I'm so Amer­i­can that way. Its by far my favorite hol­i­day, just great food and lots of fam­ily and friends. I always look for­ward to my mom's sweet potato pie, sausage stuff­ing and home­made pump­kin pie. My aunt, who is a bak­ing genius, spends a day mak­ing pies. I think her record is 17. Last year she made three turkeys, nobody throws a thanks­giv­ing feast like her. The hol­i­day is no small affair for our family.

As an Amer­i­can liv­ing in Canada, I score two Thanks­gings: one in Octo­ber and the Amer­i­can hol­i­day in Novem­ber. So I have loads of rea­sons to search out recipes that require pump­kin, sweet potato or turkey. With a mac and cheese afi­cianado in the house­hold, find­ing a pump­kin ver­sion of the com­fort dish was a no brainer. I'd sourced a few that included worch­e­stire sauce and ground mus­tard, but I wanted to keep mine a bit sweet to appeal to Scarlett's taste. She couldn't wait to get started. Nei­ther could I, frankly.

Pump­kin Mac and Cheese

2 cups shell pasta
2 cups pump­kin puree
1/2 cup milk
1 cup grated ched­dar cheese
1/2 cup grated gruyere, plus two table­spoons
1/2 shaved parme­san cheese
1/4 tea­spoon cin­na­mon
1/8 all spice
1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

Pre­heat the oven to 350.
Add pasta to boil­ing water. Cook for 5–7 min­utes or until al dente. (Fol­low direc­tions for pack­ag­ing. Drain and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, warm the pump­kin puree. Pour in the milk. Add the parme­san, ched­dar and gruyere cheeses and blend until melted. Stir in the cin­na­mon and all spice. Once all the cheeses are melted and spices com­bined, pour the pump­kin mix­ture into the pasta. Spoon the noo­dles into ramekins. Sprin­kle with extra gruyere and bread crumbs.
Place ramekins in oven and cook until cheese melts and bread crumbs brown, about 10 min­utes.
Cool and serve as a side dish or as an entree with veg­eta­bles.
Scar­lett mea­sured the pump­kin and grated all the cheeses as I tended to the stove. But once it was time to do all the blend­ing, she jumped right in and took over.

She had the ingre­di­ents mixed and filled into the bowls in no time. This entire dish, from start to fin­ish, only took about 20 min­utes. Tops. It was ideal because we pre­pared it one morn­ing so I didn't have to worry about din­ner later. We were going to be at her gym­nas­tics class, so I wanted to be able to just pop them into the oven when we got home. I'd made some bread­crumbs ear­lier in the week that I'd crum­bled baked Kale into, so they made a nice top­ping.
If you love pump­kin like me, these were a tiny slice of pumpkin-y heaven. Let the hol­i­day fun begin…


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