This is hands-down the best, moistest, and probably the healthiest mac 'n cheese I have ever tasted. If your kids love cheese, but hate vegetables... give this one a try. It's also super easy to make, and doesn't require making a flour/milk/butter sauce on the stovetop, like so many methods do.
Whole wheat or multigrain pastas work really well in this recipe.
Step 1: Ingredients
You will need:
A 14-oz. box of uncooked pasta (I'm using penne, but almost any shape will work; even spaghetti broken into 2" pieces)
Two 15-oz cans of pumpkin (or one 29-oz can)
4 cups of milk
6 large fresh sage leaves, or 1 teaspoon of dried sage
2/3 cup chopped green onions (or one medium white or yellow onion)
1/2 cup bacon bits (optional)
4 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup of parmesan or romano cheese
Step 2: Cook Pasta and Blend Pumpkin Sauce
Start by putting water on to boil for the pasta. While the water is heating, you can start mixing the pumpkin sauce. Cook pasta according to package directions, to "al dente". Drain and place into a 9" by 13" baking dish.
Place pumpkin, milk, egg, sage, and white or yellow onion into a blender or food processor. (If using green onions, you will add them later.)
You may need to blend the ingredients in two separate batches, depending on the capacity of your blender/food processor.
Pour the pumpkin sauce over the pasta in the baking dish.
Step 3: Mix and Bake
Add bacon bits (if using), green onion (if using), and cheddar cheese to the pan. Mix well. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over the top.
Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. Or until heated through, bubbly, and lightly browned on top. Yum! <3