Friday, 5 July 2013

Four Cheese Pumpkin Penne

a.k.a Grown up Macaroni and Cheese

Cookout and BBQ Season!

A beautiful rainy morning (a work day I might add) I woke up and decided I’m not going to work. Nope, I am in the mood to stay home and cook something real hearty and comforting in the cold and gloomy weather. I knew I wanted something different, something I never cooked before or have never seen anyone else cook. I had purchased some pumpkin a few days before, as well as an interesting butternut squash pasta sauce, so I figured I could incorporate them in some way. Headed down to the kitchen with a pumpkin and a dream.

This recipe is the definition of Ad-hoc. The best recipes always develop when you begin with no plan or even an idea of what your going to cook. I went in the pantry saw some penne and decided to make some form of pumpkin pasta, using my simple roasted pumpkin recipe. In the fridge was some beautiful red bell peppers, those roasted would add so much flavor.  So I roasted the pumpkins, put the bell peppers on the grill, boiled the pasta and then it hit me…why not make a baked penne and cheese?

Out came whatever cheeses I had available, thank god we keep the basics stocked and by basics I mean cheddar, mozzarella, smoked Gouda, pepper jack and Parmesan. I made a cream sauce using the butternut squash pasta sauce, some evaporated milk (we were out of heavy cream) some cheese, and roasted red peppers. Added the pumpkin and pasta, tossed it all up to disperse the pumpkin evenly placed in a baking dish, sprinkled more cheese on top for good measure and baked.

How did it turn out? watch and see.


 9 cloves of garlic (sliced in half)
½ medium sized pumpkin
1 large onion (rough chopped)
1 tbsp. no salt mixed herbs and spices
1 tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1tsp cayenne pepper
1tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 large red bell peppers
1 box penne
1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese
2 cup mozzarella cheese
2 cup evaporated milk or heavy cream
2 cup butternut squash pasta sauce
1 cup Smoked Gouda
½ cup Parmesan

Penne is the perfect pasta for "mac n cheese" unlike macaroni penne is much larger, you can get a real bite from it. Larger pasta means larger holes to suck in all the cheese and pumpkin. Not to mention the sauce sets into all the ridges.

Greedy tips:
  1. Make sure to boil pasta in salted water
  2. If you don’t have a grill roast the peppers in the oven or over the open flame of the stove (click here to see how)
  3. After draining your pasta, wash with cold water to stop the cooking process, this prevents overcooked and mushy pasta
  4. You don’t need any additional salt in the sauce, the cheeses contain adequate salt
  5. Allow this to cool thoroughly before cutting. This is also a good recipe to make the day before. 
  6. You can use any pasta of your choice. However as stated above penne might be best.
  7. If your in Jamaica, I got this butternut squash sauce in PriceSmart. In the US its sold in most grocery store chains in addition to Costco

 Xoxo Greedygirl