I find that, when Duff Man is out of town, I often revert to a vegetarian diet. It's not for any particularly noble reason--I'm just too lazy to thaw out meat when I can cook a perfectly delicious meatless meal as soon as I get home.
Earlier this week, I took a look around my kitchen to figure out what I could make for dinner. I had pasta, broccoli, pumpkin, mushrooms and all the usual pantry staples. So I threw it all in a pot and made Pumpkin Macaroni & Cheese with Roasted Mushrooms and Broccoli.
It was delicious and I had plenty of leftovers for lunch for the rest of the week.
My friend Kate kindly pointed out that it's not actually macaroni. But really, just use whatever past you've got laying around.
I will also note that I didn't actually measure anything so... well, your results may vary. I'm also doubling the recipe since I used 1/2 lb of pasta and that just seems silly to put into a recipe.
Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Roasted Mushrooms & Broccoli
12 oz crimini mushrooms, cleaned and halved
1 head of broccoli, chopped
2 cups pureed fresh pumpkin (yes, I really do keep this in my freezer)
1 lb. macaroni, shells, or whatever other pasta you desire
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
1 cups milk
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Grapeseed oil (or canola or vegetable oil if that's what you have)
Optional: 1 tsp cinnamon & 1/4 tsp nutmeg OR chopped fresh sage
Preheat the your oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the mushrooms & broccoli with a few tablespoons of oil--just enough to give them a light coating. Lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet (I lined mine with a silpat) and roast for 15 minutes, turning halfway.
In the meantime, put on a large pot of water to boil for the pasta. Once the water has boiled, add a heft pinch of salt and then cook the pasta until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. When the bubbles have melted away, add the flour and whisk until there are no lumps. Continue stirring and allow the roux to cook for about 5 minutes. Slowly add in the milk and continue to whisk until thickened. Add the pumpkin and stir until smooth. A handful at a time, whisk in the cheese and stir. Once the first addition has melted, add the next until all of the cheese has been added. Season with salt and pepper (and any other herbs/spices you'd like to add.)
Add the pasta to the pumpkin cheese sauce mixture. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the pasta water until it reaches the desired consistency. Stir in the broccoli and mushrooms (or just pile them on top!)