smoked gruyere and pumpkin mac n cheese
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Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Sage and Smoked Gruyere

I'm not sure what what I love most about this dish -- The way the sweetness of the pumpkin and the honey plays against the salty, smoky nuttiness of the gruyere or just how down right creamy this mac n cheese is? And if you serve it up in some tiny little baked pumpkins, like I will be doing on the Food Network's Facebook Page, then it's even more hard to decide the best part about this perfect Thanksgiving side dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 2 small shallots finely diced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 3 sage leaves chopped
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 2.5 cups half n half
  • 2.5 cups cheddar divided
  • 1.5 cup Red Apple smoked gruyere divided
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, melt 2 tbsp butter in a sauce pan and add diced shallots, salt, and red pepper flakes. Then, cook for a few minutes until fragrant and softened. Add sage leaves and cook for another two minutes. Add flour and whisk for 2 minutes until a roux forms. Once the flour cooks out, add half n half and whisk. After that, season to taste and then let the mixture cook and reduce for 5-10 minutes. Whisk in 2 cups cheddar, 1 cup smoked gruyere and all of the pumpkin puree. Add honey and once again, season to taste.
  • Add pasta, stir until evenly combined, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place mac n cheese mixture in a baking dish and sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar and 1/2 cup of gruyere. Pop it under the broiler for a few minutes and serve!
  • **Or if you want to get extra fancy, grab some baby pumpkins, take the top off and remove the seeds. Drizzle with oil and salt and bake at 375 until tender. Add mac n cheese mixture to the tiny pumpkins, then add the remaining cheese on top and pop under the broiler for a few minutes until bubbly. **