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Macaroni and cheese is one of the ultimate comfort foods. This mixed up version uses canned pumpkin puree in place of some of the usual cheese and milk. An added bonus is you can get your kids to eat some pumpkin and they might not even know. Fresh sage adds a lot of flavor, and you can use regular milk and full fat cheese if you want. Give this comfort food mixup a shot and let us know what you think.
Cook the pasta as directed on the package, reserving some of the pasta water to use in case you need to thin out the pumpkin cheese sauce.
In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the flour, mix to combine. Cook flour for about 5 minutes while stirring. Add in 1/2 cup of milk, stir until thickens. Add second 1/2 cup of milk and repeat. Add the pumpkin puree in 2 parts, stir. Add sage and 6 ounces of cheese. Melt. Thin sauce as needed with pasta water. Add pasta to sauce. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Top with remaining cheddar cheese, panko and Parmesan. Cook for 10 minutes, then broil for 3-5 minutes to get a light crust on top.