Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

by Judith Hausman, The Hungry Locavore at Urban Farm Online

Make a creamy, mild and bright orange version of this kids’ number one favorite and increase its nutritional value too! You may use a classic Halloween-style pumpkin for this but really, butternut squash may be tastier and smoother-textured for this dish. There’s nothing wrong with canned organic pumpkin either and – true confession – the recipe works well and quickly with a “real cheese” boxed macaroni dinner too.

Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese

  • A 1-lb. pumpkin or winter squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut in large chunks
  • OR About 1 c. canned pumpkin or squash puree (not pie filling)
  • ½ lb. whole wheat pasta, any shape
  • about ¾ c. good-quality Parmesan or sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • 1/3 c. milk
  • 2 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped (optional)
  • salt & pepper to taste

If you are using a fresh pumpkin or squash, you will need to bake it at 350 for 20-40 min. depending on the variety, or simmer it in water until very soft, and puree it well to yield about one cup of puree. You can reserve any extra for muffins or pie.

Then, cook the macaroni until tender, about 8 min., drain it and add the puree and the remaining ingredients. Serve immediately or if you prefer, pour the mix into a greased casserole, top it with bread crumbs and a bit more butter and bake at 350 for 20-30 min.Serves 2-4.