Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Whole Wheat Mac 'n Cheese with Pumpkin

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Mac ‘n Cheese
From Chatelaine Modern Classics:

Ruth’s note: my changes in red

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time 10 minutes
Broiling time 4 minutes
Standing time 5 minutes
Serves 8

3 slices whole wheat bread
1 tbsp melted butter
¼ cup fresh chives, snipped
3 cups old cheddar cheese, grated
1 butternut squash or small sugar pumpkin (about 2lb/1kg), peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes. (I had some frozen cooked & mashed pumpkin in the freezer so I used that instead, making sure to drain the liquid out of the thawed pumpkin)
10oz/284 ml can undiluted chicken broth (or homemade)
½ tsp ground nutmeg
16oz/450g whole wheat elbow macaroni or fusili (I used penne)
8oz/250g block cream cheese, cut into small cubes
1 cup 35% cream (next time I’ll probably go with a lighter cream)
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Trim crusts from bread and lightly toast the bread. Tear into large pieces and pulse in a food processor until coarse crumbs form. Add butter and pulse to mix. Add chives and ½ cup grated cheddar. Pulse once more to mix and set aside in a bowl.

2. Peel and cut in half, lengthwise. Scoop out and discard pulp and seeds. Cut squash/pumpkin into small chunks. (about 4 cups).

3. Place in a large pot. Add the broth, 1 cup water and nutmeg. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered until the pumpkin is tender (about 10-15 minutes).

Ruth’s note: if using frozen pumpkin, place the frozen pumpkin in a strainer over a large bowl. Allow the pumpkin to defrost – you could speed up the process by defrosting it in a microwave. Press the liquid out and set the pumpkin “meat” aside until ready to use.

4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the salt and pasta. Cook according to package directions, until al dente. Drain.

5. Preheat the broiler.

6. Using a slotted spoon, remove half of the pumpkin to a separate bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the remaining pumpkin in the pot with the broth until smooth. Add cream cheese, and continue mashing until the cheese is mostly melted. Stir in the cream, Dijon mustard, salt & pepper.

7. Remove from heat and stir in the remaining 2 ½ cups of cheddar until melted. Fold in the pumpkin pieces.

8. Stir in the drained, cooked pasta and spread evenly in a 9x13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle evenly with the crumb mixture. Broil until the crust is golden (4-5 minutes). Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Ruth’s version:
1. All the pumpkin will be mashed, so add it along with the cream cheese, cream & Dijon.

2. An alternative to just broiling the hot mac ‘n cheese…we actually had to put off eating it for dinner, so I just put the prepared dish (step8) and heat the next day in a 350°F/175°C, covered with foil for about 30-45 minutes (just check with the tip of a knife in the center of the dish for when it’s hot). Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 375°F/ 180°C to crisp the crust.

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Wow! Ruth, this sounds so tasty, that I can't wait to try it. I think our whole family will enjoy.