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UFO Pumpkin Mac & Cheese with Sage Breadcrumbs

It’s no secret that pumpkin can pretty much go in any recipe and up the delicious-factor by at least ten fold. But did you know that if you use UFO Pumpkin it makes it roughly 20x more delicious? That’s a scientific fact. And why we asked Vanessa Boucher of @caffeinated.kitchen to create a delectable mac & cheese recipe that highlighted our Pumpkin beer - an instant crowd pleaser. She did not disappoint. This recipe is perfect for after a long day of leaf peepin’, hiking, or pumpkin-patching with friends. But don’t be shy about pairing it with a long sit on the couch in front of the football game.

What's Inside:

UFO

UFO PUMPKIN

What You Need:

– 8 oz. preferred macaroni pasta (we used cavatappi)
– 4 tbsp unsalted butter
– 6 tbsp flour
– 1 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tsp allspice
– 1 tsp mustard powder
-2 ½ tsp kosher salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 1 cup whole milk
– 1 cup UFO Pumpkin Beer
– 2 cups sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded
– 2 cups jarlsberg cheese, shredded
– 2 cups fontina cheese, shredded
– 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
– ¼ cup minced sage
– 1 tbsp olive oil

What You Do:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
2. If using fresh sage for your breadcrumbs, pull the leaves from the stems and stack them one on top of the other until you have a little pile.
3. Roll the leaves until you have a little roll and cut into pieces. Finely dice the sage until they are about the size of your panko bread crumbs. Use as much or as little sage as you prefer
4. Combine bread crumbs, sage, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper in a small bowl with the olive oil. Toss until coated.
5. Spread evenly on a baking sheet and toast for 8 – 10 minutes until the breadcrumbs have begun to brown.
 
For the mac and cheese:
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to package directions
2. Heat a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium high and melt the butter
3. Combine all the spices and salt in a small dish
4. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour 2 tbsp at a time. You’re making a roux to thicken your sauce here so make sure you’ve thoroughly whisked the flour into the butter. It should be thickening up and turning a lovely golden color.
5. Whisk your dish of spices and salt into the roux you’ve begun making. The nutmeg and allspice will make it a rich brown color.
6. Slowly whisk the milk and beer into your roux, one at a time.
7. Let the roux heat, stirring occasionally for 3 – 5 minutes or so. It should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. I know it’s ready for cheese when I can dip my knuckle into a spoonful and it’s obviously warmed.
8. Turn the heat to low and add the sharp cheddar.
9. Whisk until the first cheese is melted and add the jarlsberg
10. Add 1 ½ cups of the fontina to the cheese sauce and whisk until melted. Save the remainder for the top.
11. When all the cheese is melted your whisk should be dripping with ooey, gooey cheese sauce and there should be no clumps.
12. Pour your cooked pasta directly into the pot with the cheese sauce and stir until the pasta is completely coated.
13. Grease with butter, or spray with cooking spray, one 13 x 9 casserole dish or two smaller.
14. Pour your macaroni and cheese mixture into your dish and spread with a spatula or spoon until you have an even layer
15. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese and sage breadcrumbs over the top.
16. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 350. You’ll know it’s done when the cheese is melted on top and bubbling around the edges with beautifully browned and crisp breadcrumbs on top.
17. Enjoy with a cold glass of UFO Pumpkin!