Baked Pumpkin Shells and Cheese

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Give mac and cheese a seasonal twist with this recipe for baked pumpkin shells and cheese from Jenna Weber of Eat, Live, Run. Jenna shares the story behind this recipe in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

Yield: 8 servings

Course:

Ingredients

  • 16 oz small shell pasta
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 cups milk
  • 16 oz grated cheese blend
  • ¾ cup pumpkin puree (1/2 15-oz can)
  • 1.5 tsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ cup panko breadcrumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
  3. In a heavy saucepot over medium high heat, melt the butter and add the flour. Whisk together and cook for thirty seconds. Add 2 cups milk and minced rosemary and whisk until smooth. Add another cup of the milk (reserving one cup) and continue to whisk. Cook for four minutes while whisking. The mixture will get very thick!
  4. Add 12 ounces of the grated mixed cheese (reserving about a handful of grated cheese) and stir well so that the cheese melts. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne followed by the additional cup of milk and the pumpkin puree.
  5. Once everything is smooth, add the cooked macaroni and toss well. Pour into a 9″13″ casserole pan and top with the remaining grated cheese and the breadcrumbs.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes until golden brown and bubbling.
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