Pumpkin Mac N Cheese

Vegan version with almond milk and nutritional yeast

Mac 'n Cheese. Who doesn't love a good mac 'n cheese?! I've seen this pumpkin version on the web for a while. The thought has always appealed to me because I love pumpkin and I love the idea of sweetness to a savoury dish. After looking over a few recipes on the internet, I decided to follow this recipe (pictured below). It was just as cheesy and delicious as a regular mac n cheese. I also made a vegan version using almond milk and nutritional yeast (pictured above). So once you have this bechamel base, you can make add any vegetable puree to make a creamy vegetable sauce. I'm going to try this with cauliflower to make a alfredo sauce. A creamy spinach one would be lovely too.

For the pumpkin puree
0.5 kg pumpkin, peeled and cut roughly into 1" cubes
Salt and olive oil
Heat oven to 160C (fan forced). Place pumpkin on tray and toss with olive oil and salt. Roast in oven for 15-20 minutes or until soft and caramelised around the edges. Let cool before blending in food processor. Set aside

For the bechamel base
1.5 cups milk/nut milk
1.5 cups vegetable stock
0.5 fine chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon plain flour
1 tsp sea salt
Dash of nutmeg

Heat olive oil in pan and cook onions and garlic until soft. Add flour and cook for a few minutes, until it browns a little before adding in milk. Stir thoroughly to get rid of lumps. Add the stock and keep cooking. Turn up the heat and let it come to a boil, it will start to thicken quite a bit. Stir in the pumpkin and season with salt, pepper and a dash of nutmeg. Tadah, you have your pumpkin cream sauce!

At this point, you can add 2 cups of grated cheese (I used parmesan and aged cheddar) and cooked pasta. This recipe serves 4-6. For the vegan version, add 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast just before serving. Delicious eaten with roast broccoli and nuts.

 With milk, grated parmesan & mature cheddar

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