As promised, here is a recipe to use up the pumpkin that is left over from the Pumpkin Cookies with Maple Glaze I shared with you last week. This recipe provides a unique, healthy, delicious twist to the traditional macaroni and cheese dish. Ssssshhh. The kids will never know what’s in it (mine didn’t), and they are even getting a dose of their vitamins from the pumpkin! If you made two batches of the cookies instead of one and no longer have leftover pumpkin puree, you can use another kind of squash puree! The original recipe from Jessica Seinfeld‘s cookbook, “Deceptively Delicious,” calls for butternut squash. It also calls for cream cheese which I switched out for cottage cheese to lower the calories and up the protein power. I’m a busy mom who needs food to energize me as long as my kids do!
Goodbye, boxed mixes! Hello, homemade gourmet! Eat up!
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add the elbow pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over low-medium flame. Add the flour and stir until flour starts to get pasty, 1 – 3 minutes. Add in the milk and stir until the flour is dissolved. Add the cottage cheese and heat through a little bit to dissolve some of the chunkiness of the cottage cheese. It won’t dissolve completely. Then add in the pumpkin puree and cheddar cheese and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle in the salt and some ground black pepper. Heat this mixture completely through until bubbly and hot. Meanwhile drain the pasta when it has cooked to al dente. Pour the cheese sauce over the cooked pasta and serve immediately.
Note: If you are used to a mac n cheese with a crumb topping, you can pour this entire meal into a baking dish, sprinkle the top with a mixture of melted butter and bread crumbs, and bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 -15 minutes, until the top is golden brown.