Pumpkin Mac & Cheese
Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
For the breadcrumbs:
3 tablespoons salted butter
4 cloves garlic, minced
10-12 1-inch slices of baguette, processed into crumbs
1 1/2 ounces aged gouda cheese, casing removed and finely shredded (about 1 loosely packed cup)
For the macaroni and cheese:
1 (8-ounce) box elbow macaroni
2 tablespoons salted butter, plus 1 tablespoon melted butter for greasing the tins
2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or milk)
2 1/4 ounces smoked gouda cheese, casing removed and shredded (about 1 1/2 loosely packed cups)
5 ounces double cream brie cheese, roughly cut into cubes
1 heaping cup roasted butternut squash or pumpkin (using the same method), cooled and cut into small dice
Pepper, to taste
To make breadcrumbs: In a nonstick skillet, melt butter then add garlic. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until garlic becomes fragrant and slightly toasted. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally until breadcrumbs are coated in garlicky butter and are toasted throughout.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl. Stir in aged gouda cheese. Allow to cool.
To make macaroni and cheese: Preheat the oven to 425°F. Grease a 13X9-inch baking dish. Divide half of the breadcrumb mixture and place into prepared baking pan, pressing it firmly down into the bottom of the pan.
Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water until macaroni is at room temperature. Set aside.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in pumpkin puree and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in heavy cream and cook, whisking constantly, until scalding (small bubbles form on the outer rim of the pan) and thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in smoked gouda and brie until melted. Turn off heat and stir in cooked macaroni and roasted pumpkin (or butternut squash). Salt and pepper to taste.
Place macaroni in greased pan. Sprinkle the remaining breadcrumb mixture on top.
Bake for about 10 to 15 minutes, until golden and sizzling, rotating the pan halfway through cooking. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.