Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

I find recipes all over the place: Magazines, cookbooks, blogs, the Food Network, and my newest obsession Pinterest. Oh Pinterest, how I love thee. For those of you who have not discovered the wonderfulness that is Pinterest, I shall tell you about it. It's an online pinboard, a place where you can organize all of your favorite things, crafts, decor, fashion, beauty tips, basically ANYTHING. Pinterest is where I found the Pumpkin Mac & Cheese. The recipe alone caught my eye. Pumpkin in the Fall is just quintessential in my opinion, and I love enjoying pumpkin in many different facets. But I had never heard of a Pumpkin Mac, but I liked the sound of it; nutty brown butter, sharp white cheddar, nutmeg and pumpkin. YUM. Also, the blogger this recipe comes from says that it has half the fat and calories of regular mac and cheese, and cost less than $10 to make.

Making brown butter
This recipe was quick (took less than 10 minutes to put together) and straightforward. Don't let the brown butter intimidate you, it's way easier than it sounds. Put your butter in a pan over medium heat and let it melt and start to cook, once it starts to smell nutty and turn brown (it may bubble a little), you're done! We really liked this recipe, the flavors are fantastic, but the next time I make it I won't bake it, I'll just serve the sauce over cooked pasta. I'm not sure if it's because I used a brown rice pasta, but I just couldn't taste the sauce as much after the pasta baked in the oven. It's up to you though, let me know what you think if you make it.
Ready for the oven!

Here's the recipe, courtesy of The BrokeAss Gourmet

Brown Butter Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

8 oz. elbow macaroni, penne, shells or other small pasta shape
2 tbsp unsalted butter plus more for the pan
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup milk (any kind)
3/4 cup unsweetened canned pumpkin
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp shredded aged white cheddar cheese .
dash nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter an 11“x13” baking pan or 4 ramekins/oven-proof bowls
Cook macaroni in salted boiling water according to package directions.
While macaroni cooks, melt the butter in a medium pot over medium heat. As soon as it begins to brown, add the flour and whisk until you have a very sticky dough.
Slowly whisk in the milk to form a creamy white sauce.
Continue whisking as you add the pumpkin and 1/2 cup of the white cheddar. You should have a very creamy orange sauce. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta and return it to its pot. Use a rubber spatula to scrape all of the sauce over the pasta and stir to coat the pasta evenly.
Scrape the sauced pasta into the prepared pan(s) and top with the reserved cheddar plus more salt and pepper.
Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the cheese is very bubbly and lightly browned on top. Serve hot. As I mentioned earlier, the next time I make this, I'm not gonna bake it, so this part is up to you. You can pour the sauce over the pasta and toss together, or just spoon some sauce down over the pasta as you serve it.
Serves 4.

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