Nicole is the author, recipe developer and photographer behind the food blog Cooking for Keeps. She believes you can eat anything in moderation, so her blog focuses on a varied hodgepodge of indulgent and healthy recipes alike. When she’...
Macaroni and cheese just got better. Pumpkin, brown butter and Parmesan sage breadcrumbs put this cheesy pasta dish over the top!
This rich, decadent dish with brown butter is the ultimate fall comfort food.
Pumpkin brown butter macaroni and cheese recipe
1 pound dried rigatoni
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
1-1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
5 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped and divided
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 large yellow onion, sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1-1/2 cups half-and-half
3/4 cup + 1/8 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13-inch baking dish (or similar size).
Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a rolling boil and season liberally with salt. Stir in pasta. Cook pasta until just under al dente. Drain and reserve.
While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over a medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons chopped sage and 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese. Toast until slightly golden and crunchy. Remove from heat and reserve.
In another small skillet, melt remaining butter over medium-high heat. Once the butter begins to brown, swirl the pan until it becomes a deep brown color and smells nutty. Immediately reduce heat to medium and add onions. Once the onions begin to soften, 2-3 minutes, add garlic and remaining sage. Continue to cook until onions are translucent and garlic has softened, another 2-3 minutes. Stir in flour, cook for 1 minute.
In the pot the pasta was cooked in, whisk together cream, half-and-half and pumpkin puree over medium heat and bring the mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, add in onion and garlic mixture. Add remaining salt and black pepper. Simmer until sauce is slightly thickened. Add pasta into mixture, then add Gruyere cheese and remaining Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
Transfer mixture to baking dish, top with breadcrumbs and bake for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and brown.