Got leftover pumpkins/pumpkin flesh from Halloween and don’t want to waste it?
Whip up this comforting, nutritious, healthier mac and cheese in under 30mins then feel smug because you didn’t waste any of that pumpkin!
Comfort food with benefits
The combination of melted cheese and pasta makes this dish proper comfort food during colder weather but you also get nutrition from the pumpkin, fibre from the wholegrain pasta and I share a tip on how to maximise the benefits from the garlic, also make sure to include the black pepper as it helps the absorption of other nutrients so you can really maximise the goodness of this dish.
Pumpkin mac & cheese (2 portions)
140g wholegrain pasta
200g pumpkin or squash
125ml veg stock
1 large or 2 medium garlic cloves
70g mature cheddar cheese
pepper to taste
1 tsp apple cider vinegar or balsamic
optional: 2 tsp dried coriander
1-Get the pasta on to cook, bring it to the boil then reduce the heat to medium and cook for approx 8-10mins (depends on pasta, doesn’t need to be fully cooked as will be further heated in oven)
2-If your pumpkin isn’t cooked already, then steam it until soft while the pasta cooks then heat the oven to 170C and chop the garlic then set aside* and grate your cheese
3-Add the garlic to a blender along with 125ml stock and black pepper then add the pumpkin once cooked and blend until smooth
4- Once the pasta is cooked, drain it then add it back into the pot along with the pumpkin mix and stir it through along with half of the cheese
5- Add the pasta mix to a casserole dish, make sure the pasta is covered in the sauce or bits may burn/become hard while in the oven then sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and coriander if using
6- Bake for 15mins before tucking in
*Tip: You’ll want to chop the garlic fairly early on to get the most out of it as cutting it allows the release and enzymes to begin creating beneficial compounds in the garlic which stop being produced once cooking begins, so this way it allows a few minutes for this process to occur