Sunday, February 20, 2011

Macaroni and "Cheese"


So, this recipe is going to be kind of a guess work because I don't know exact measurements.  It is DELICIOUS!!!  But the recipe really is confusing.  It started with following a recipe from a super delicious cookbook Casey gave me for Valentine's Day.  This book has pureed vegetables and fruits in everything.  But, lets just say I didn't follow it too well.  The recipe called for pureed carrots or sweet potato.  Well, I was in a rush and didn't feel like making the puree but I already had canned pumpkin--perfect!  I love the stuff!!  :)  Probably part of the reason is because pumpkin anything is my favorite!  But honestly, I thought it tasted like mac'n'cheese (not Kraft but like an expensive restaurant kind).

1 box of pasta (+ or - depending upon how saucy you like it.  I just made individual servings for each of us.  I made mine with whole wheat rotini pasta.  And Casey's with white shells.  Mine was healthier but his tasted more like "normal")
1 T. light margarine
1 1/2 T. flour (I used whole wheat and ended up having to use a little extra)
Salt
Pepper
Poultry Seasoning (don't ask me why I picked this... because we had it!  But I thought it tasted great!)
1 c. + skim milk (I had to add some extra milk after I added the pumpkin because it was too thick...)
1/2 can small pumpkin (I didn't want extra pumpkin just hanging out.  So I put the entire small can in.  This is probably the reason why I had to add extra milk)
1-2 c. grated cheddar cheese

Cook pasta according to directions on the box.  In a different pan, melt the margarine over medium heat.  Once it is completely melted, add the flour until it is a thick paste.  (Just like you were making a cream sauce/ gravy.)  Slowly add the milk (1 c.) and whisk it in.  (The trick here is whisk/ stir constantly to prevent it from going lumpy!!)  Shake in a good amount (like 1/4-1/2 t.??) of pepper, some salt (I added less salt than pepper), and the poultry seasoning (um... I don't know how much--probably similar to the pepper amount but no idea really).  These are all to taste so do as much as you like!  Continue to stir over medium heat until it thickens.  Then stir in the pumpkin.  The consistency should be like a medium gravy--add extra milk if needed to thin it out.  Sprinkle in some cheese and continue to stir until it melts.  (Ok, so I didn't want a ton of cheddar cheese because it is higher calorie so I added probably 1 to 1 1/2 c. to the entire pan.  But, I didn't want to make Casey sacrifice at my expense.  So... with his cooked and drained pasta, I stirred in more cheddar cheese to just his over medium low heat.  The cheese coated the pasta.  I also added chicken pieces to his--I didn't want additions.  I was also considering adding some frozen mixed veggies to make it more like a casserole but didn't.)  Combine the pasta and the sauce.  Note: the original recipe suggested serving it with Parmesan cheese or dried bread crumbs--we didn't use either.

Ok... so I warned you the recipe was awkward! :/  I hope you can figure it out and try it yourself!  This is a great way to hide veggies--you can't even tell it is there!

+ =

I forgot to take a picture... and this is all that was left...
It really is as yummy as I am making it sound--the picture is evidence! :)

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