Saturday, December 2, 2017

Pumpkin Mac and Cheese with Artichoke, Spinach, and Caramelized Onions

I have had another busy week.  I week ago I went to Spain.  I was back in town for two days before leaving on a work trip to San Francisco.

I was only in San Francisco for three days, and my days were mostly filled with work stuff.  I was still able to see the pier, the ocean, and some seals.  I also walked around Chinatown and ate some tasty Mexican food.  

I have only been to San Fransisco twice.  I wasn't crazy about San Fransisco during my first visit, but it has grown on me.  I like it and could go back again for another long visit.

I made this pumpkin mac and cheese a few weeks ago.  I had some friends over for a pot luck dinner, and this was my contribution.  Everybody brought fall themed foods. 

I found this pumpkin mac and cheese recipe on Betty Crocker's website.  I added caramelized onions, spinach, and marinated artichoke heart.  I also added a panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and olive oil on top for some crunch.

They ingredients are 2 onions, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt, 16 ounces elbow pasta, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup flour, 2 cups milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 cup canned pumpkin, 8 ounces cheddar cheese, 10 ounces chopped spinach, 8 ounces drained marinated artichoke heart, 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.

I added a tablespoon of oil, the two chopped onions, and a teaspoon of salt into a skillet over high heat.  I cooked these for about 25 to 30 minutes stirring regularly.  I occasionally added water so that the pan wasn't too dry.

I added the butter and flour into a pot.  I cooked these ingredients for a few minutes over medium high heat.

I gradually stirred in the two cups of milk.  I stirred this until the sauce had thickened.  This took a few minutes

I added the pepper, salt, nutmeg, dijon mustard, pumpkin puree, and one and three fourths cups of the cheese.

I stirred the sauce until smooth.

I added the caramelized onions, drained and unfrozen spinach, and drained artichoke heart.  I squeezed the spinach to get rid of as much moisture as possible.

I poured this over the cooked and drained pasta and stirred it together.

I poured this into a nine by thirteen inch baking dish.  

I added the remaining cheddar cheese.

I combined the Panko bread crumbs and tablespoon of olive oil and then sprinkled them on top of the macaroni.  

I added grated presume cheese.

I baked this for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.

It was delicious and cheese.

The spinach and artichoke were a great combination.  The marinated artichoke heart added some flavor.

The caramelized onion added to the dish as well.  It was savory and scrumptious.

The topping was crisp, golden, and cheesy.

 The pumpkin flavor was very subtle.  It was barely discernible, but it added a pretty hue.

It was very toothsome, festive, and hearty.  

 The sauce was gooey and creamy.

My friends seemed to enjoy the dish, and I know that I enjoyed it immensely.  It was a win in my book. Yum!

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