Monday, October 18, 2010

pumpkin macaroni grating: it's all good in the hood

After an unsuccessful and disappointing attempt at figuring out why my oven likes to burn a lot of my baked goods (exhibit A: pumpkin pecan bundt cake), I decided to use some of my pumpkin puree for supper so I could at least say that I made something with it. The cake still tasted really good on the inside but I was thoroughly disappointed that my (expensive) pecans went to waste. (I got the recipe from the October 2010 Canadian Living magazine if you want to try it).

So I then said to myself, it's time to get an oven thermometer woman! And I did just that , which made me realize that my oven was even stronger than I thought. So hopefully there shouldn't be any more burnt baking fiascos in the near future.

For now, I hope you enjoy a little variation on the classic macaroni au gratin that I usually like to make with bechamel sauce. I replaced the sauce with pumpkin puree and added some crusty bread and Parmesan cheese to the top. It's an autumnal twist on a classic dish.

Macaroni au Gratin a la Citrouille

Serves 6-8
Inspired by Everyday Food: Great Food Fast


3 tbsp olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 tsp rosemary
12 ounces macaroni (or any other kind of pasta)
12 ounces pumpkin puree
salt and pepper to taste
slices of crusty bread cut into small cubes
Parmesan cheese (quantity depending on how much of a cheese lover you are)


Preheat oven to 375 F. Grease a 9 x 13" baking dish. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium-low heat and cook the onions until soft and starting to turn brown. Add salt, pepper and rosemary.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water according to package instructions. Before draining, reserve 1 1/2 cups of the cooking water. Return pasta to pot. 

Stir in pumpkin puree and the reserved water with the onions cooking at a simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Toss puree mixture with pasta and pour into prepared dish. 

Mix bread cubes with some rosemary, salt pepper and a bit of oil. Spread on top of pasta and sprinkle generously with Parmesan cheese. Bake in oven until top is golden brown and slightly crusty, about 15-20 minutes.

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