Delicious Pumpkin Mac and Cheese
If you can, grate your own cheese. It'll taste better and I think you'll get a creamier, less grainy mac and cheese. Cheeses that work well in this recipe: cheddar, sharp cheddar, white cheddar, gouda, fontina and gruyere.
- 1 lb. pasta any kind; I used Mafaldine
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cubed
- 3 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves only
- 1 1/2 cups milk any kind, I used 2%
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 heaping teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt and pepper
- 2 cups cheddar cheese shredded
- 1 cup gruyere, gouda and/or white cheddar mix shredded, see note above
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package instructions, to al dente. RESERVE A CUP OF PASTA WATER. You won't use all of it but it's nice to have it if you need it. Drain and set aside.
Using a large pan over medium heat, start melting the butter and then sprinkle in the flour over the butter and whisk together. Allow to cook for 1 minute, then add in the thyme. Next, pour in the milk and the pumpkin puree and the Worcestershire sauce and whisk together until everything is smooth and combined. Let cook, whisking occasionally, until the sauce thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon, about 3 minutes. At this point, I added a little pasta water (start with 1 to 2 tablespoons), mix and then season with salt and pepper.
Turn the heat to low and add in all of the cheese, mixing to melt and incorporate everything. Add in your cooked pasta and add a little more pasta water if needed. Using tongs, toss everything together until all of the pasta is nicely coated in the pumpkin cheese sauce. Taste. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Serve immediately and enjoy!