I am on a pumpkin trend. Last week I shared these Flourless Pumpkin Muffins with Chocolate Chips. This week we tried a savory dish for dinner: Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese. It was good — depending on how much you like pumpkin. I like pumpkin but if we made this recipe again we would tweak it. We would put in less pumpkin and more cheese. The sauce could have been a bit creamier, so I think we would have played with the sauce a bit more.
The breadcrumbs on top softened the heavier pumpkin flavor — the breadcrumbs are a must!
Pumpkin Mac ‘n’ Cheese
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
12 oz. dried whole wheat elbow macaroni
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole milk
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2 quart baking dish with 1 Tablespoon of the butter. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain well and return to the pot.
While macaroni cooks, melt remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and whisk until combined. Whisk in milk, salt, and black pepper. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Add pumpkin and cheddar cheese. Cook and stir until creamy, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Pour sauce over macaroni and stir to coat. Transfer macaroni to the prepared baking dish. In a small bowl, stir together breadcrumbs, Parmesan, and oil. Spread evenly over pasta. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the topping is golden brown and macaroni is heated through.
You know when you have the most amazing meal? It is memorable. They way it tastes, smells, and just hits the spot. Mmm. Sometimes a meal is so so, and other times they just suck. I am not going to tell you the below recipe is amazing. It was very good. These days though how long something takes to make outweighs how amazing something is, as our time is more and more precious. For it taking over 45 minutes, I think you can get more bang for your buck with something a bit different. Having shared all that, I will tell you — the best part is the Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs. The topping made this recipe.
So if you have the time, try this recipe. What I would like to do is take some of the good parts and find a simple and quick way to make something similar. Do you have any ideas?
Fontina and Spinach Baked Eggs with Garlic Brown Butter Breadcrumbs [Adapted from How Sweet Eats]
3 oz fresh spinach
4 oz fontina cheese, freshly grated
4 large eggs
2 T heavy cream or half and half
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp sea salt
1 T unsalted butter
1/2 minced garlic clove
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
chopped fresh herbs for topping
2 large pieces of cracked wheat sourdough (toasted)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
Place fresh spinach evenly in the bottom of the baking dish. Sprinkle about 1/2 of the grated cheese over the spinach. Place the 4 eggs over top spaced evenly. Sprinkle the salt and pepper, then add the heavy cream — drizzled over the top. Sprinkle the remaining cheese. Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes. Cook longer if you want the yolks cooked through.
While the dish is baking, add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat and whisk constantly. Once it starts to brown, remove from heat and keep whisking for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and whisk some more. Add in the panko and fresh herbs and stir until panko is coated.
When the baked eggs are done, remove from the oven and cover with panko mixture. Serve immediately over buttered toast.