Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese...
*Note: This makes two good sized pans of macaroni. You can freeze one for later, cover it with parchment and plastic wrap after you spoon it into the pan. Don't bake it in the oven. Put it in the freezer for up to 1 month. When ready to bake, heat the oven to 375ºF, unwrap, remove parchment and cover with foil. Bake in the oven until hot and bubbly.
PUMPKIN MAC & CHEESE, FARMGAL STYLE
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
1 stalk celery, diced
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups milk
3 cups grated cheese:
1 cup Colby Jack
1 cup Sharp White Cheddar
1 cup Emmentaler (Swiss) Cheese
1 cup cooked and pureed pumpkin
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
16 oz whole wheat elbow macaroni, cooked and drained
1 cup kale, cut into thin ribbons
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 tbsp melted butter
Heat oven to 375ºF. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the celery and minced garlic and cook until just softened, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir until a thick paste forms (you will have some lumps from the celery, it's okay, just keep stirring). Cook for a few minutes. You are making a roux to make a white sauce. After the butter and flour mixture have cooked for a few minutes, slowly add the milk, stirring well to incorporate the flour mixture to the milk. Stirring continuously, cook until thickened and smooth, it will take just a few minutes to thicken, be patient. Add the cheese and stir to melt and combine. Add the pumpkin, salt and pepper, and stir until incorporated. Taste and adjust seasonings.
You may need a large bowl at this point, depending on the size of your pan. Either in your pan or a large bowl, combine the cooked macaroni with the pumpkin and cheese sauce. Stir carefully, so you don't break the macaroni. Add the thin ribbons of kale and stir to combine again. Pour into buttered casserole pans, or 1 pound bread pans work well too. Mix the bread crumbs with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle over the top of the macaroni. Bake in 375ºF oven for about 30 minutes, until hot and bubbly.