250g elbow macaroni or other short pasta
2 tbsp flour
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
Salt and black pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
100g mashed pumpkin
80g mature Cheddar, grated
30g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated, plus extra to serve
80g soft cream cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over a high heat and cook the macaroni according to the package instructions until just al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Return the same pot to a medium-low heat. Add the butter and allow to melt, then whisk in the flour. Whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Pour in the milk a little at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
- Whisk in the mustard, cayenne, some salt and pepper and the nutmeg, if using. Add the pumpkin purée and the cheeses and stir for 3-4 minutes until the mixture forms a thick sauce. Taste and add more salt or black pepper as needed.
- Once the sauce is smooth, stir in the cooked macaroni. Divide between bowls, top with some extra Parmesan and serve with garlic bread.
Per Serving: 288kcals, 13g fat (7.7g saturated), 30g carbs, 3.4g sugars, 13.1g protein, 0.6g fibre, 0.246g sodium
TOP TIP: For a baked version, preheat the oven to 190˚C/170˚C fan/gas mark 5. Stir a handful of breadcrumbs together with 1 tbsp olive oil and some grated Parmesan. Transfer the mac ‘n’ cheese to a baking dish and spread the breadcrumbs over the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and bubbling.