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Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

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Mac & Cheese gets a boost of fall flavor and nutrition with the addition of pumpkin. Rich in vitamin A and a good source of added fiber, the pumpkin enhances the creamy texture and gives it body. If you want to add a little zip for more grown up taste buds, try adding a dash or two of hot sauce and a teaspoon of yellow mustard while whisking the butter and flour.
These also freeze well and can be micro-waved for easy re-heating.
Yield: about 4 cups
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces elbow macaroni, or other short cut pasta, whole wheat or regular
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 cup crushed Garden Medley Flavor Tot Munchables

Method:

1.Pre-heat oven to broil. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook until smooth and slightly golden, about 2 minutes.

2.Add the milk, pumpkin, nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Whisk in the cheddar and 1/2 the parmesan. Cook until thick and creamy, about 2 minutes.

3.Combine the crushed crackers with the remaining parmesan. Stir in the macaroni and toss well to coat evenly; season with salt and pepper. Transfer to 4 oven proof ramekins or bowls and top each evenly with the crushed cracker and parmesan topping. Broil until golden, about 1 minute. Serve.

Claudia Sidoti is a seasoned recipe developer whose work can be seen in national magazines and online, most recently she lead the Test Kitchens at Food Network. She lives in New York City and has raised three fantastic children. Cooking and eating together is the key ingredient that keeps her family connected, no matter how busy life can be.

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