Updated 01/06/2013 05:00 AM
Recipe: Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Onion, Sage and Fontina
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1 pound dried pasta (such as medium shells or elbow macaroni)
1/2 cup diced onion
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh sage
2 Tbs butter
4 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree (unsweetened)
2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup milk
2-3 cups grated Fontina cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs tossed with a little olive oil
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get a large pot of water going.
Next, melt 2 Tbs of butter in a heavy bottomed pot and saute 1/2 cup diced onion and 2 Tbs finely chopped fresh sage until the onions have softened.
At that point, whisk in 4 Tbs all-purpose flour and cook that along for a minute.
Then add 1 cup pumpkin puree, 2 cups of chicken stock and 1 cup of milk and whisk that in and bring it up to a simmer.
Stir that around occasionally as it is heating up and thickening up and, once the pasta water comes to a boil, add the one pound box of pasta and cook that until it is al dente.
Once the sauce starts to bubble along, turn the heat down a bit and stir in 2 - 3 cups of grated Fontina cheese to melt and then turn the heat off.
Drain the pasta when it's done and, while it's still nice and hot, add it back to the pasta pot and then add the cheese and pumpkin sauce to that and toss to combine.
Transfer that to a 9 x 13-inch baking dish and top it with 1/3 - 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs
that have been tossed with olive oil.
Place it into the preheated oven and, because it's hot to begin with, it shouldn't take any more than 30 minutes to finish up.
Use a different cheese with a good melting quality if you like.