Man Proof Macaroni Cheese With Pumpkin Recipe

This was a recipe I emailed to PS when I was going to be working late, and he wanted something easy to cook (that the child would actually eat!). It is completely man-proof and 100% tested on mine!

And yes, if you are wondering, the child did actually eat it; there was even that rare child approval that every parent craves at meal times… “it’s okay I suppose” (he had seconds!).

So send this on to your man and give him a crack in the kitchen!

Man Proof Macaroni Cheese With Pumpkin Ingredients

  • 1/2 butternut pumpkin (or other pumpkin, like jap or blue)
  • 2 twigs of fresh rosemary (if you have some)
  • 1/2 packet of pasta twists
  • 3 large spoonfuls butter
  • 3 large spoonfuls plain flour
  • 600mL milk
  • Piece of cheddar cheese (approx size of a set of cards), grated
  • Piece of parmesan cheese (approx size of a matchbox), grated
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp ground/grated nutmeg
  • Handful fresh or bought breadcrumbs

Man Proof Macaroni Cheese With Pumpkin Method (the actual email)

“Sure love, here you go – make sure you read it all before you start 😉

Preheat oven to 190 deg. Remove skin and cut pumpkin (use the whole one in the fridge) into small pieces and toss with olive oil and chopped rosemary in a plastic bag. Place pumpkin on tray (all of the trays are in the oven) and roast, turning frequently until well browned, then remove from oven.

When the pumpkin is halfway done roasting, bring a med saucepan of salted (1 heaped tsp) water to the boil then cook the pasta (use the whole remaining packet of twists in the cupboard – they are in the basket) and while the pasta is cooking make white sauce (see below). You want to cook the pasta so that it is almost done (cos when you put it in the oven it will cook a little bit more). When the pasta is cooked, drain it and put it back in the saucepan with the lid on to keep warm.

In small saucepan heat 3 large spoonfuls of butter until bubbling. Add 3 large spoonfuls of plain flour and stir until all of the butter has been absorbed by the flour (if it looks too runny just add a little bit more flour, it should sort of come together a bit). Stir the butter and flour mixture for 2 minutes over the heat (this cooks out the flour).

Add approx 500-700mL of milk to butter/flour mixture, a little at a time, whisking really well after each addition. Probably best to take the saucepan off the heat to do this. At first only add a little of the milk at a time and whisk it really quickly into the butter/flour to stop developing any lumps. Once it starts to look like thick cream, you can add a bit more of the milk. You should end up with a smooth mixture that is the consistency of runny cream.

Return to the heat and bring to the boil, whisking all the time (don’t be tempted to walk away cos it will get lumps) until the sauce thickens (should take a few minutes to thicken properly). Add grated (big holes) cheddar cheese (probably use all of the last bit of it in the fridge) and grated (small holes) parmo (use the last of the used block) to the sauce off the heat a little at a time to melt the cheese into the mixture. Add plenty of salt and pepper and about 1/2 tsp of nutmeg and stir thoroughly. Add the sauce to the pasta in the med saucepan and stir thoroughly.

In the large pyrex dish pour 1/2 pasta/sauce mix into the bottom, then top with roasted pumpkin and cover with remaining 1/2 pasta/sauce. Sprinkle the top with additional parmo (small holes) and breadcrumbs, then bake approx 15 mins until top is golden and bubbling. Serve with big salad (there is also corn if you fancy it).”