1. I still had some chopped pumpkin leftover from when I made pumpkin risotto.
2. I had some plain pasta in the fridge that needed to be used up.
3. Dan hasn’t been feeling great the past few days, so I wanted to make some “health-ified” comfort food for him.
4. It looked so easy!
And easy it was. Tasty, too! I’ll definitely be making this again.
Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese
(slightly adapted from Never Home Maker)
2 c cooked spaghetti
2/3 c pumpkin puree (see note at end of the recipe)
1 T olive oil
1 T whole wheat flour
1/2 c milk
3/4 c. shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 c. shredded Parmesan
salt and pepper for seasoning
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the flour and stir for about 1 minute, or until thick.
Add the milk and stir until thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the pumpkin and cheese and season to taste. Keep stirring until everything is gooey and melted. Stir in the pasta, and you’re done!
I served this with some sauteed green beans and roasted chickpeas (since I left the bean puree out of the mac and cheese). Delicious!
Note: How to make squash puree to enjoy year-round!
Because I’ve been striving to eat local as much as possible, I have decided to make my own pumpkin puree, instead of buying it canned. My plan is to buy a bunch of pumpkins when they are at their peak (and therefore cheapest!) and make puree to freeze. By buying at the peak of the season, I may actually save some money on pumpkin! Plus, if there is another canned pumpkin shortage this year, I’ll still have my own.
This will work for any winter squash, so go ahead and freeze some butternut, acorn, or delicata squash as well to use in soups, baked goods, risotto, or pasta until they are in season again!
Frozen Squash Puree
The only ingredient: Any amount of winter squash
Preheat the oven to 350*F. While it heats, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds. (Set the seeds aside to roast for a snack!)
Place the squash cut-side down in a large baking dish with 1/2 c water.
Roast at 350*F for 45-60 minutes, or until the flesh is soft and starting to pull away from the peel.
Allow the squash to cool, then scoop out the flesh. Using a blender or food processor, puree the flesh until smooth. Fill freezer-safe containers with the puree, leaving as little space for air as possible. Label and freeze!
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