This smoky pumpkin mac and cheese recipe is made with the most dreamy smoked gouda pumpkin sauce and sprinkled with crispy garlic-herb breadcrumbs.
Mac and Cheese Ingredients:
- 1 pound uncooked pasta (I used pipe rigate)
- 12 ounces smoked gouda cheese, coarsely grated
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 1 cup canned pumpkin purée
- 1 cup whole milk, warmed
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2 large handfuls baby spinach
Garlicky Breadcrumbs Ingredients:
- Make the breadcrumbs. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a sauté pan. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add Panko, rosemary, salt and pepper. Continue sautéing, stirring occasionally, until the Panko reaches a toasted golden brown color. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large stockpot of generously-salted boiling water until just barely al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the starchy pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta and return it to the stockpot.
- Mix. Add the smoked gouda, Parmesan, pumpkin purée, warmed milk, smoked paprika, spinach and ½ cup of the starchy pasta water to the pasta. Stir until the cheese is combined and has melted into a smooth and creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick or the cheese has not fully melted, add in an extra ¼ to ½ cup of the starchy pasta water as needed.
- Serve. Serve immediately, garnishing each portion with a generous sprinkling of garlicky breadcrumbs.