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The only thing that can really cure a case of the Mondays is comfort food and today, Deborah delivers. This decadent mac and cheese has pumpkin puree and spices whisked into the sauce along with plenty of extra-sharp cheddar cheese. Sarah, Recipe Hunter

Sarah Lim, NoshOnIt Recipe Hunter

THE RECIPE

Pumpkin Cheddar Mac and Cheese

Comfort food with Fall flair

There are some nights when you have to throw diets and healthy eating out the window and succumb to the fact that only comfort food will do. On days like those, we turn to one of our childhood favorites – macaroni and cheese. Rich and decadent, the perfect mac and cheese is all about al dente pasta (in this case whole wheat penne) along with a rich, creamy, and cheesy sauce. While a classic recipe always works, we love this Fall twist from Deborah that whisks pumpkin puree into the sauce, giving the mac and cheese extra creaminess and a touch of sweetness. To balance it all out, allspice, ground mustard, cayenne, and nutmeg are added to the mix along with handfuls of extra sharp cheddar cheese for a unique yet ultimately familiar dish with just enough of a twist to keep things interesting. Topped with extra cheese and finished in the oven to make a crispy crust, this mac and cheese is best served in the company of good friends and family on a cool night around the fire.

THE CHEF

Deborah Harroun

Recipe Developer, Photographer, Food Lover

Deborah Harroun from Taste and Tell

At Taste and Tell, you will find easy, fast and family friendly recipes. I am a believer that anyone can cook and that dinner doesn’t have to be complicated.

If there’s one word to describe Deborah’s cooking, it would be: inviting. With two (and soon to be three!) young children at home, she’s a busy wife and mom who shares her fast and easy recipes to get a family dinner on the table in under an hour. But she also proves that quick dishes don’t have to be boring. Her blog, Taste and Tell, is full of delicious, unique, and approachable recipes that will allow you to put a homemade meal on the table every night of the week.

Make sure to say hello to Deborah on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest.

THE TIP

Three Secrets to Perfect Mac and Cheese

Three Secrets to Perfect Mac and Cheese

Nothing screams “comfort food” quite like a thick and creamy macaroni and cheese. Whether you like it made on the stovetop or baked with a crispy crust in the oven, a great mac and cheese is all about a balance of textures and flavors. We’ve all been the victim of overcooked noodles, grainy sauce, and a dry consistency. Here are 3 tips to get you to mac and cheese perfection:

  1. To prevent the sauce from becoming grainy, add the cheese to the hot milk mixture off of the heat. The residual heat from the milk will melt the cheese just enough without causing it to separate.

  2. When making a baked mac and cheese, use plenty of extra sauce. It might seem like too much at first but as it bakes, the sauce will thicken.

  3. Undercook the noodles by 2-3 minutes less than the instructions on the package. They will continue cooking as the mac and cheese bakes, absorbing the extra sauce and turning perfectly al dente.

Macaroni and cheese can be as simple or fancy as you like but these tips will work wonders regardless of the recipe you choose. By making sure the cheese is incorporated properly, you’ll have a smooth sauce that the noodles can absorb as the mac and cheese bakes. The result? A perfectly creamy mac and cheese for those days when only comfort food will do.