It's the great Mac 'n Mozzarella Cheese Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Macaroni and cheese is a well known dish (at least around Canada and the US) but most people eat the kind out of a box with a powdered cheese. A lot of people will go to the trouble of putting it in the oven and baking it with a handful of cheddar on top to melt. I decided to go a little farther and make my mac 'n cheese different by way of pumpkin.

A pie pumpkin is what I choose to use (from what I understand the jack o' lantern kind isn't the greatest for cooking) which is fairly small, about the size of both of your fists together. Cut the top off like you would if you were carving a pumpkin and set it to the side after cutting a bit of the flesh and guts/seeds off. Take a spoon and spoon out the stringy stuff and the seeds out and rinse it out. Cut a bigger part of the top of the pumpkin so you have a bowl (about a 3rd of the what's left of the pumpkin is a good amount). The part that was cut off of the "bowl" needs to be cut down to a few good sized chunks (this just makes it easier to handle when you're done roasting it). Clean your seeds off well and put them and the pumpkin chunks on to a cookie sheet to roast for about 20 - 30 minutes on about 400F in the oven.

Meanwhile cook up some whole wheat macaroni noodles till they are al dente (about 10 minutes). Shred 2 cups of mozzarella, reserving 1/3 cup. When the macaroni is cooked drain and put back in the pan but don't put it back on the stove, as we are using the pan as a mixing bowl. Add the cheese to the pan and about 1/2 a cup of milk.


At this time the pumpkin should be about done, take out the chunks and with a fork scoop out the fleshy part from the skin. Mash up the flesh and add it to the pan with the noodles, cheese, and milk. Mix them well and salt and pepper to taste. Pour this mix into a casserole dish that is small enough yet deep enough for the noodles to not stick at the bottom or dry out. Sprinkle the 1/3 cup of mozzarella we left out on top and set it in the oven for about 5 minutes at 350F then turn it to broil for another 5 minutes to brown the cheese on top.

Now if you like to do a little dressing up with your food you can use that pumpkin bowl (or several depending on how many people you are cooking for) and spoon the mac 'n cheese right into the pumpkin before setting it back in the oven with the cheese on top. This is only if you want to do an interesting presentation but definitely not needed :).

I did this version for myself as the hubby happens to be sick and not wanting to eat and the little one would probably not be happy with me messing with his mac 'n cheese by putting pumpkin in it. That aside I thought it was great and will probably do this sort of thing again for everyone when everyone is feeling better!

I also decided to enter this in Weekend Herb Blogging(WHB)which is being hosted by the talented Marja over at Palachinka this week. You can check on the rules of the event over here.

11 comments:

Cinnamon-Girl Reeni♥ said...

This looks excellent!! I bet it's really delicious. I love your presentation!

Marija said...

I love it so much!

Thanks for sending it to the WHB!

Ozoz said...

Stunning presentation. Lovely the warmth of the pumpkin and the fact that it is stuffed. I plan to make a pumpkin soup and serve it in the whole pumpkin!

Ozoz said...

Stunning presentation. Lovely the warmth of the pumpkin and the fact that it is stuffed. I plan to make a pumpkin soup and serve it in the whole pumpkin! www kitchenbutterfly com

Sharon said...

WOW, what a great presentation. Sound so good and a great way to use pumpkin in a grown up version of mac and cheese

VeggieGirl said...

So original!! I love it.

CaSaundraLeigh said...

I loove stuffing everything under the sun, and have done a few different versions of a stuffed pumpkin, but never mac n cheese--brilliant! :-)

Tali said...

This looks beyond delicious!!!!!

Sanjana said...

Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog! This looks awesome! Striking presentation- it has made me feel so hungry!

Jeanne said...

Oh this is fantastic! We added bacon, because it was on sale and just sounded fun. My toddler and husband LOVED it! Thanks so much.

biz319 said...

Love the idea of this and agree with the commenter above - bacon would really be a nice addition!

Thanks for the idea!

 

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