Baked Pumpkin/Everything but the kitchen sink Mac & Cheese
Who doesn’t love macaroni and cheese? Nuff said. I tried to make it healthy, and the end result involved MANY ingredients. I kept testing the sauce and saying, hmmm it needs something.
The beginning of the sauce was: globe of fresh mozzarella, 4 oz goat cheese, 1 can pumpkin puree, 1/2 cup part skim ricotta, 1/3 c shredded sharp cheddar. Added in caramelized vidalia onions and a variety of mushrooms (used some baby bellas and chanterelles) that I sauteed in duck fat. Added truffle oil, truffle salt, and cracked pepper. Still not quite right. Added nutritional yeast. Not right. Added nutmeg. A little better…..Spice! Added cayenne and some Clancy’s Fancy hot sauce. At this point I had a monster on my hands, but it tasted fantastic, and so I called it a day.
I boiled a pound of gimeli pasta. I did some research into what people say is their favorite pasta shape to use for macaroni and cheese. My initial thought was to use small shells, actually, or maybe farfalle. I knew I did not want to use rotini (too many bad memories of crappy pasta salads), I did not think penne would be very exciting, and elbows seemed too ordinary. So I settled on gimeli, and I think it held up great, but did not exactly produce a block of macaroni and cheese like elbows would, so next time I think I would probably just stick with small shells or elbows for this kind of sauce.
I picked up a smoked turkey breast and just heated it up, sliced it on the side. Comfort food is so good.