The Pioneer Woman Tasty Kitchen
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Butternut Macaroni and Cheese

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Level: Easy

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Description

Creamy Butternut Macaroni and Cheese with a deliciously crunchy rosemary and pancetta breadcrumb top.

Ingredients

  • 2-¾ pounds, ⅛ ounces, weight Butternut Pumpkin (Squash)
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Sliced
  • ¼ teaspoons Dried Chili Flakes
  • ½ whole Cinnamon Stick
  • ⅔ cups Water
  • 1 pound, 1-⅔ ounces, weight Macaroni Pasta
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup, 2-⅔ teaspoons, ⅞ pinches Whipping Cream
  • 1 cup, 4 tablespoons, ¾ teaspoons, 1-⅞ pinches Milk
  • ½ pounds, ⅞ ounces, weight Parmesan Cheese
  • 10 whole Slices Of Pancetta Or Streaky Bacon
  • 2 Tablespoons Rosemary Leaves
  • 4 slices Day Old Bread

Preparation

Peel and de-seed the pumpkin then cut into 2cm (1 inch) cubes). Grease a 2L (8.5 US cup, 7 UK Cup) capacity baking dish, I find ceramic to be best.

Add the oil to a saucepan with a lid and heat over medium heat. Slice the garlic and add to the oil, frying lightly until browned. Add the chili flakes, cinnamon stick, pumpkin cubes and water. Cover with the lid and cook over a medium heat until the pumpkin is soft (around 20 minutes).

While the pumpkin is cooking, cook the macaroni in lightly salted water until al dente (according to package instructions for al dente – al dente means that it still has a bit of a bite to it, you don’t want mushy pasta folks) and once done drain well.

Once cooked remove pumpkin mixture from the heat, take out the cinnamon stick and mash the pumpkin. You can use a stick blender if you want it really smooth, I just use our potato masher. Season lightly with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked macaroni, pumpkin mixture, cream and milk into a bowl and mix together well. Ad the parmesan, mix well and spoon into the baking dish.

Preheat the oven to 200C (390F).

Chop your pancetta or bacon and fry over a low heat until light brown, add the rosemary and the ripped up bread and fry for a minute or two to crisp the bread up slightly and allow it to suck up all the bacon fat. Place in a food processor and pulse until everything is chopped well.

Sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the top of the macaroni cheese and bake in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until warmed though and brown on top.

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