Pumpkin Mac n' Cheese

  • 1 box penne pasta
  • 3 Tlbs butter
  • 3 Tlbs Flour
  • 3 C. milk (I used coconut milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tlbs Dijon mustard
  • 2 1/2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 3/4 cup pie pumpkin puree

Wash the pie pumpkin and poke it on each side. Place the pumpkin in a baking dish with a little bit of water covering the bottom. Bake the pumpkin for about 45 minutes until you can easily stick a butter knife into the pumpkin. Take the pumpkin out of the oven, let it cool and remove the meat. Place the meat in a blender or food processor and blend until you have a puree consistency. For this recipe you only need 3/4 cup so save the rest in the fridge/freezer for a future recipe.

While the pumpkin is cooking prepare the penne noodle per the instructions. I recommend leaving them a tad al dente since they will cook some more in the oven later. Rinse with cold water and set aside for later.

In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat and whisk in the flour. Slowly add in the milk whisking constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, continue whisking at a simmer for about 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.

Remove from heat and add the seasoning, pumpkin and cheese. Stir well until the cheese is melted and all ingredients are incorporated. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss until the noodles are coated with sauce. Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle the panko crumbs over the top.

Place the baking dish in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.The dish is done when the top is a golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool before eating. Enjoy!