Saturday, July 9, 2011

Butternut Macaroni Cheese with Rosemary, Bacon and Parmesan

This yummy recipe comes from a Delicious magazine back in 2005. I have been making it since then and the kids now like it too! I have found normal macaroni and cheese too rich so this has the advantage of being moist from the pumpkin and still cheesy, but the best bit is the crunchy bread crumb and bacon topping!

Butternut Macaroni Cheese with Rosemary, Bacon and Parmesan

serves 4-6
Olive oil
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 dried chilli, crushed or 1 large pinch dried chilli flakes (optional)
½ cinnamon stick
1 large butternut pumpkin, peeled, flesh chopped into 2 cm cubes
400g macaroni
300ml milk
1 cup thickened cream
150g parmesan, grated
8 slices pancetta or streaky bacon
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked (dried works well here too)
3-4 slices day-old bread, crusts removed, torn into chunks (150g)

Heat a splash of olive oil over medium heat and gently fry garlic till golden. Add chilli, cinnamon, pumpkin and small glass of water. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat for about 20 minutes till pumpkin is soft. Uncover and boil the liquid around the pumpkin until reduced to almost nothing. Remove from heat and remove cinnamon. Mash the pumpkin and season.

Cook macaroni until al dente, then drain well. Quickly toss in a bowl with the pumpkin, milk and cream. Add three quarters of the parmesan and season, then place in large baking dish (2L).

Preheat oven to 200 C.

Cook pancetta or bacon in a large frypan over mediom heat till light brown. Add rosemary and bread, fry gently for 1-2 mins, then pulse in a food processor till chopped. Sprinkle remaining parmesan over pasta, then with bacon and rosemary. Bake for 30mins till crisp and bubbly on top.

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