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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

It’s getting to the time of year to start craving comfort food. And for me there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of pasta.

This recipe is a twist on the classic mac and cheese with the addition of a creamy butternut pumpkin sauce.

If you want a quick mac and cheese recipe, check out this one. When you want a little bit more thickness and substance to your mac and cheese, this pumpkin version uses cashews to thicken and bulk up the sauce.

The oil in the sauce gives a much richer, full-bodied sauce. If you are wanting a lower calorie dish, replace the oil with a plant based milk.

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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

  • Author: Amanda
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 4 serves 1x
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Ingredients

250g pasta
1 tbsp chilli oil
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp paprika
1 butternut pumpkin, approx 1kg, peeled and diced
1 litre water (or 1 litre stock and no stock paste)
1 tbsp stock paste
1 cup cashews, soaked and drained
1/4 cup olive oil (or plant based milk)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 slices bread
1 tbsp macadamia nuts
2 sprigs thyme

Instructions

Preheat oven to 180ºC.
Cook pasta according to directions on pack.
Drain and set aside.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in saucepan.
Add onion, garlic, paprika and nutmeg and cook 5 mins.
Add diced pumpkin, water and stock paste.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 mins, or until pumpkin is well cooked.
Add cashews to blender and process until smooth.
Add pumpkin mixture, olive oil (or milk) and nutritional yeast.
Blend until smooth, adding salt and pepper if needed.
Combine drained pasta and pumpkin mixture in an oven proof dish.
Place bread, macadamia nuts and thyme into a blender and process into crumbs.
Sprinkle macadamia crumble over the pumpkin Mac and cheese.
Cook for 20 mins.

Notes

I use a homemade chilli oil, which can be replaced with regular oil to sauté the onions.

This is a high calorie food. Calories can be reduced by using the milk option instead of oil.

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