Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

From The Culinary Couple

Ingredients

  • 1 thick slice whole wheat bread, crust removed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 12 oz dried whole wheat pasta
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups shredded Gouda cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Tear bread into chunks and process in blender or food processor until fine crumbs form. Mix with half of the Parmesan cheese and set aside.
  2. In a small saucepan, over medium heat, stir pumpkin and broth together. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally. Cover and keep warm.
  3. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.
  4. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour and cook for another minute. Slowly whisk in milk and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook, whisking frequently, until sauce thickens, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  5. Stir in half of the Gouda, the remaining Parmesan, and the salt, nutmeg, and cayenne; whisk vigorously until melted and smooth. Slowly add pumpkin mixture, whisking until well blended.
  6. Pour pumpkin-cheese sauce over pasta and stir gently to coat. Sprinkle with the remaining Gouda and then the breadcrumb mixture. Bake until crumbs are golden, about 20 minutes.
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