Pumpkin adds unexpected flavor and nutrients to your favorite comfort food.
- 1 pound medium shells pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
- 1 cup diced onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups 2% or whole milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 6 ounces Roth Gouda cheese, shredded
- 6 ounces Roth Grand Cru or Grand Cru Reserve cheese, shredded
- 8 slices bacon
- 3 cups chopped, packed kale
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Heat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large pot, cook pasta until al dente according to package instructions.
- In a separate Dutch oven or large pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat. Add onion. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until onion is translucent and begins to lightly brown. Add garlic. Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add remaining 2 tablespoons butter, and melt. Stir in flour to form a roux. Slowly whisk in milk until fully incorporated. Cook 3 to 4 minutes to allow sauce to thicken. Whisk in Dijon mustard, garlic powder, nutmeg and pumpkin puree until fully incorporated. Add cheese, one handful at a time, whisking in-between each addition to ensure cheese melts into sauce. Adjust stovetop heat to low.
- When pasta reaches al dente, strain and add to pumpkin cheese sauce. Mix until pasta is coated.
- While pasta warms, cook bacon in a sauté pan until crispy. Remove bacon strips from heat. Add chopped kale to leftover bacon fat. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, or until kale begins to wilt and soften. Dice bacon, and add to pasta mixture. Once kale has wilted, fold into pasta mixture. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Transfer pasta mixture to a 13×9-inch baking pan. Top with an even layer of panko breadcrumbs, and drizzle olive oil over breadcrumbs to help them brown.
- Cook macaroni and cheese for 10 minutes or until pasta is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden brown.