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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
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Archive for Pasta/Pizza

TIP OF THE DAY: Dessert Pasta

Most people think of pasta as a savory recipe. But the noodles themselves are very versatile. Made with flour, water and egg, they can be cooked for dessert as well as the main course.

While not an April Fool joke, it seems like the right dessert for April Fool’s Day.

The recipe was created by Michael Stambaugh of the El Conquistador Resort in San Juan, Puerto Rico, for a recipe contest held by the National Pasta Association and the Culinary Institute of America. It won third place.

After you master this recipe, you may develop your own ideas for variations on the theme of dessert lasagna.

We’ve got 11 more recipes for dessert pasta. Take a look.

RECIPE: DESSERT LASAGNA

Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 4 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 8 kiwis, peeled
  •    

    Dessert_Lasagne230-ps

    Fruit lasagna for dessert! Photo courtesy National Pasta Association.

  • 4 cups strawberries, washed and trimmed, 8 berries reserved for garnish
  • 4 cups blackberries, washed
  • 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds
  • Garnish: mint sprigs
  •  

    mixed-berries-greengiantfresh.com-230

    If you don’t like one of the fruits in the recipe, pick another to purée. Photo courtesy
    Green Giant Fresh

     

    Preparation

    1. COOK the pasta according to package directions, substituting 2 tablespoons of sugar for the salt. Rinse, drain and set aside.

    2. STIR together the ricotta cheese and ½ cup sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    3. PURÉE 4 kiwis with 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor. Transfer the purée to a bowl and set aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

    4. PURÉE half the strawberries with 2 tablespoons sugar in the food processor. Strain the purée into a bowl and set aside. Rinse the processor bowl.

    5. PURÉE half the blackberries with 2 tablespoons sugar in the food processor. Strain the purée and set aside.

    6. SLICE the remaining kiwis into ¼-inch thick rounds. Slice the strawberries into 1/8-inch thick pieces. Slice the blackberries in half.

     

    To Assemble The Lasagna

    1. RESERVE 1/4 cup of each of the purées to use as a garnish.

    2. COVER the bottom of a 9-inch-by-13-inch glass baking pan with 3 lasagna noodles. Spoon 1/3 of the ricotta on top and spread it evenly.

    3. POUR the kiwi purée over the cheese and arrange the kiwi slices on top of the purée. Lay 3 more lasagna noodles on top and cover with 1/2 the remaining cheese.

    4. POUR the strawberry purée over the cheese and sprinkle with sliced strawberries. Lay 3 more lasagna noodles on top and cover with the remaining cheese. Pour the blackberrys purée over the cheese and sprinkle with blackberries. Top with a final layer of pasta. Cover tightly with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

    5. TO SERVE: Sprinkle the lasagna with the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and with the toasted almonds. Cut into 8 rectangles and use a spatula to set the pieces on dessert plates. Decorate the plates with dots of the reserved purées. Garnish each piece of lasagna with a strawberry and a sprig of mint.

      

    Comments

    TIP: The New Linguine & Clam “Sauce”

    If you make linguine and clam sauce the way most Americans do—with canned clams—try it the way they serve it at Olio e Piú in New York City.

    Eight whole steamed clams surround a plate of linguine.

    The linguine is cooked and tossed in olive oil with fresh parsley and placed in the center of the plate.

    The clams, lightly cooked in a garlic broth, surround the linguine. EVOO is poured into the other half of each clam shell.

    In our interpretation of this dish, we made clams in garlic broth (vongole in brodetto). We also grilled up a side of crostini; the crunch of the bread is a nice counterpoint to the soft pasta and clams, and the arugula adds some color to the plate. You can substitute your favorite garlic bread recipe.

    RECIPE: LINGUINE & CLAMS

    Ingredients

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for tossing with the pasta
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
  • 8-10 clams in shell per person
  • 1-1/4 cups white wine
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1 package linguine (or fresh linguine)
  •    

    linguine-alla-vongole-clam-olionyc-230

    A modern interpretation of linguine and clam sauce. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.

     

    For The Garlic Crostini

  • 1 baguette, sliced into 1-inch-thick pieces
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1/2 to 1 cup ricotta
  • 1-2 cups baby arugula, cleaned and dried
  •  

    ricotta-truffle-oil-arugula-blackpepper-olionyc-230

    Garlic-ricotta-arugula crostini. Photo courtesy Olio e Piú | NYC.

     

    Preparation

    First, make the clams in garlic broth.

    1. WASH the clams to remove any dirt or sand.

    2. COOK the clams. In a heavy pot over moderate heat, heat the oil until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and sauté until golden brown (about three minutes). Add the salt, pepper and chili flakes and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.

    3. INCREASE the heat to moderately high and add the clams, white wine, water and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the clams open (5 to 7 minutes). Discard clams that do not open. Drain the clams and toss with the chopped parsley.

    4. MAKE the pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt. While the pasta cooks, grill the bread:

     

    5. PREHEAT the broiler or grill to high. Brush the crostini slices on both sides with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Grill, flipping once, until golden brown and crisp. While the bread is grilling…

    6. SEASON the ricotta with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the crostini from the broiler/grill and rub each slice on the top side with the raw garlic. Spread with ricotta and top with arugula.

    6. PLATE the pasta in a mound in the center of the plate. Serve clams with the crostini.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Kale, Bacon & Pistachio Pasta

    This recipe may not be Irish (kale and bacon work, but pistachio nuts are originally from Central Asia and the Middle East, and pasta is from Italy by way of China and Arabia).

    But it sure is green and right on trend, if you’d rather not have the conventional corned beef and cabbage or Irish stew on St. Patrick’s Day.

    The recipe is from McCormick: In this fresh pasta sauce, kale, avocado and pistachios are puréed with chicken stock, garlic and Italian seasoning for an easy dish that packed with flavor.

    And it uses a charming short cut of pasta, the campanelle (cahm-pah-NELL-lay), a delicate-looking but sturdy shape that looks like a bell-like flower. It is typically served with a thick sauce, or in a casserole, where its fluted shape and hollow center help catch the sauce.

    Barilla makes campanelle, and you may be able to find imported brands. If you can’t find them locally, you can order them online.

    By the way, although no market carries them all, there are hundreds of different pasta shapes. Check them out in our Pasta Glossary.

    Prep time is 20 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    RECIPE: KALE, BACON & PISTACHIO PASTA

    Ingredients For 8 Servings

  • 1 package (16 ounces) pasta, such as campanelle or fusilli
  • 6 slices bacon
  • 6 cups chopped kale, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning*
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 avocado, peeled and seeded
  • 1/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
  •    

    campanelle-kale-bacon-pistachio-mccormick-230

    A sauce of kale and bacon for St. Patrick’s Day pasta. Photo courtesy McCormick.

     

    *You can purchase an Italian seasoning blend or make your own. Combine two tablespoons each of, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Store in an airtight container away from light and heat.

     

    campanelle-barilla-230

    Instead of the same old same old, try a new
    pasta shape every time you buy short cuts.
    Photo courtesy Barilla.

     

    Preparation

    1. COOK the pasta as directed on the package. Drain well. Meanwhile…

    2. COOK the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain it on paper towels; then crumble and set aside.

    3. ADD 2 cups of the kale to the bacon drippings in skillet; cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or just until kale is tender-crisp. Remove the kale and set aside.

    4. ADD the onion to the skillet; cook and stir for 2 minutes (add oil if needed). Add the chicken stock and seasonings; bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low; simmer 5 minutes.

    5. PLACE the remaining 4 cups of kale in a blender. Add the avocado, pistachios, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese and 1/2 of the crumbled bacon. Add the hot stock mixture. Cover the blender with the lid, with center part removed. Cover the lid with a towel. Blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Blend on high speed until mixture is smooth.

    6. PLACE the pasta in a serving bowl. Top with the kale sauce, cooked kale, the remaining crumbled bacon and the remaining 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with additional chopped pistachios, if desired.

     

      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Arugula Pizza

    arugula-pizza609972SXC

    Arugula pizza, here shown with pine nuts and crumbled goat cheese. Photo courtesy SXC.

     

    Last week we finally made it across town to a pizza café we’ve been yearning to try. It’s called Farinella Bakery. What they bake are the most heavenly pizzas and calzones.

    We haven’t yet tried the calzones yet; there are too many great pizza toppings to work our way through. In the glass case in front of us were some 20 different gourmet pizzas by the slice, on the thinnest, cut on rectangles, with crispest crust we’ve had in memory.

    We chose three of the slices, starting with Tartuffo (sliced sautéed mushrooms atop a mushroom-ricotta paste, drizzled with truffle oil) and V.I.P (artichoke heart pesto, fresh mint, pecorino romano, goat cheese and black pepper. Both were as delicious as we’d hoped.

    But our third slice, Filetto, blew us away. What a simple yet divine concept: fresh cherry tomato filets (an Italian reference to roasted cherry tomatoes) and mozzarella, garnished with fresh arugula.

    Not just a few leaves, mind you, but a thorough carpeting of fresh, peppery, bright green arugula. It will be hard to return to Farinella without adding a slice of it to our order.

     

    For St. Patrick’s Day lunch, we’ll be making our own version of arugula pizza. While arugula is a popular ingredient in Italy (where it’s called rucola), for St. Pat’s you can call it fusion food, taking inspiration from the Emerald Isle.

    No matter what you choose, you’re in for a treat.

     

    ARUGULA PIZZA VARIATIONS

    We’ll be trying some variations of Farinella’s simple yet elegant recipe.

  • Salty is a good counterpoint to the pepperiness of the arugula, so we’ll add anchovies or sardines to one side of our pizza, and prosciutto or serrano ham to the other.
  • If you like heat, sprinkle with chili flakes or minced or sliced jalapeño.
  • If you want more cheese, consider a garnish of crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese, or shaved Parmesan.
  • You can also add a garnish of pine nuts (pignoli in Italian).
  • It you’d like more seasoning, get out the oregano.
  • Down the road, we’ll try a blend of fresh basil and arugula.
  •  
    We’ll never be able to turn out a brilliant crust like the masters at Farinella, but we can guarantee: There won’t be a crumb left over.

    You don’t have to wait for St. Patrick’s Day to head to the store for arugula, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella and a pizza crust.

     

    arugula-salvatica-wild-burpee-230

    Fresh-picked arugula. Try growing it in your garden! Photo courtesy Burpee.com.

     
    THE HISTORY OF ARUGULA

    Arugula, botanical name Eruca sativa, is a member of the Brassicaceae family of great-for-you cruciferous vegetables. It’s called rocket in the U.K. and rucola in Italy, its home turf.

    A pungent, peppery, leafy green vegetable resembling a longer-leafed, open lettuce, arugula is rich in vitamin C and potassium. The leaves, flowers, young seed pods and mature seeds are all edible.

    Used as an edible herb in the Mediterranean area since Roman times, it was gathered wild or grown in home gardens along with other staples like basil and parsley.

     
    ARUGULA SERVING SUGGESTIONS

  • In Italy, raw arugula is often added to pizzas just before the baking period ends or immediately after as a garnish, so that it won’t wilt from the heat.
  • It’s chopped and added to sauces and cooked dishes, or made directly into a sauce by frying it in olive oil and garlic. It is also used a condiment for cold meats and fish (substitute it for parsley in a gremolata).
  • In the Puglia region of Southern Italy, the pasta dish cavatiéddi combines copious amounts of coarsely chopped arugula with tomato sauce and grated pecorino cheese.
  • Add chopped arugula parsley-style to boiled potatoes, as they do in Slovenia.
  • For an appetizer or lunch main, serve the Italian dish straccietti, thin slices of beef with raw arugula and parmesan cheese.
  • Enjoy arugula raw in salads, as part of a mesclun mix or with perlini (small mozzarella balls) and fresh or sun-dried tomatoes.
  • Use it instead of lettuce on a sandwich.
  • Cook it in an omelet, with or without your favorite cheese.
  •  
    There are many other ways to serve arugula, raw or cooked. Feel free to add your favorites.
     
    Food trivia: Arugula was mentioned by classical authors, including Virgil, as an aphrodisiac. For that reason, it was often mixed with lettuce, which was thought to have a calming influence (source).

    Here’s the history of pizza.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Pizza Portraits

    Are you hungering for your portrait in pizza? Commission one from Domenico Crolla.

    A native of Glasgow, Scotland, where his Italian-born father Alfredo had a café, Chef Crolla graduated from the Scottish Hotel School and launched his first restaurant, a pizzeria.

    His next Glasgow restaurant, Italmania, became Scotland’s very first designer pizza emporium. It closed in 2008 to be replaced with a full-service Italian restaurant, Bella Napoli.

    But the thrill of pizza remains, especially in Chef Crolla’s pizza portraits of celebrities from Beyoncé to Andy Warhol (how Andy would have loved that!) He even turned the iconic photo of Prince William, Duchess Kate and baby Prince George into pizza art.

    Don’t think of him as a pizza chef, but as a culinary artist.

     

    pope-230sq

    The Pope in pizza. Photo courtesy Domenico Crolla.

     
    When he isn’t creating pizza art or running his restaurants, Chef Crolla judges cooking contests across the globe.

    Discover more at Crolla.com and check out the celebrity pizzas on his Facebook page.

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Ravioli With Pan Roasted Tomatoes

    This recipe from is easy and inviting for Valentine’s Day. It’s from blogger Annalise of Completely Delicious, via GoBoldWithButter.com.

    Prep time is 10 minutes, cook time is 20 minutes.

    RECIPE: RAVIOLI WITH PAN ROASTED TOMATOES

    Ingredients For 4 Servings

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  •  
    Preparation

     

    ravioli-tomatoes-annalise-goboldwithbutter-230

    An easy Valentine dinner. Photo courtesy Go Bold With Butter.

     
    1. BRING a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the ravioli according to package instructions. Drain.

    2. MELT the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat, while the ravioli are cooking. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes until their skins split, about 4-6 minutes, shaking the pan every few minutes to rotate tomatoes.

    3. ADD the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the drained ravioli and toss with the tomatoes until combined.

    4. GARNISH with basil and serve immediately with Parmesan cheese.

      

    Comments

    FOOD FUN: Football Pizza

    football-pizza-due-forni-LV-230ps

    Don’t fumble the pizza! Football pizza from Due Forni | Las Vegas.

     

    If you were at Due Forni restaurant, you could order a football pizza. But there’s no need to travel to Austin or Las Vegas: It’s easy to make your own.

    Using your favorite pizza recipe:

    1. STRETCH the dough into a more oblong shape. If you’re using a prepared round crust, you could trim it, but it’s easier to default to the round shape.

    2. PLACE the pepperoni in the center as shown.

    3. CUT strips of mozzarella for the laces.

    4. BAKE as usual.

    Be sure to have extra pizzas ready to be made when this one is devoured!

     

     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pizza & Beer Flight

    pizza-beer-flight-bowery-st.com-230r

    Enjoy different beers with your pizza. Photo courtesy Delancey Hollywood.

     

    Why don’t all pizza restaurants offer a beer tasting flight?

    Delancey Hollywood has it right: a tasting of four different beers to enjoy with your pizza.

    If you can’t make it to Hollywood, create the concept at home. How about debuting it during the Super Bowl?

    Since most people don’t want to consume four entire beers with a pizza, buy plastic tumblers for shorter pours.

    The biggest challenge is what beers to offer. You can do a tasting of four different lagers or other beer types to compare brands, or mix it up: an ale, IPA, lager and stout, for example.

    We’re so into this idea, we’re going to have it for lunch today.

    Now, the second biggest challenge: What type of pizza to order?

     

      

    Comments

    RECIPE: Better-For-You Mac & Cheese

    White_Cheddar_Mac_and_Cheese-mccormick-230

    Mac and cheese with less guilt. Photo courtesy Nicole Morrissey | Prevention RD.

     

    While your January better eating resolutions are still active, consider this remake of a family favorite recipe, macaroni and cheese. This mac and cheese recipe is better for you in three ways. It uses:

  • Whole wheat macaroni.
  • Reduced fat milk and cheese.
  • Cauliflower puréed into the cheese sauce, thickening it without the butter-flour roux (it also adds fiber).
  •  
    RECIPE: BETTER-FOR-YOU MAC & CHEESE

    Ingredients For 10 Servings

  • 1 package (16 ounces) whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups reduced fat 2% milk
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into florets (3-1/2 cups)
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces reduced fat white Cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ounces (1/4 package) Neufchâtel cheese (1/3 less fat than cream cheese), softened
  •  
    Preparation

    1. COOK the pasta in large saucepan as directed on the package for al dente pasta. Drain well and return to the saucepan. Keep warm. Meanwhile…

    2. MIX the milk and flour in a medium saucepan with a wire whisk. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat, whisking constantly. Add the cauliflower florets; cook 12 to 15 minutes or until fork-tender, stirring occasionally.

    3. PURÉE the mixture in batches in blender on high speed until smooth, with the center part of the cover removed to let steam escape. Return the puréed mixture to the saucepan. (Alternatively, purée the mixture in a saucepan with an immersion blender.)

    4. STIR in the remaining ingredients; whisk until smooth. Pour the cheese mixture over the hot cooked macaroni; mix well. Let stand 2 minutes before serving.
     
    Variations

    You can customize the recipe with some equally good for you ingredients that add flavor and color. Mix them in or use them as a garnish.

  • Capers
  • Chopped herbs: basil, parsley
  • Caramelized onions
  • Chopped red onion
  • Diced pimento (roasted red pepper)
  • Diced fresh tomatoes or quartered cherry tomatoes
  • Sliced green onion (scallions)
  • Sliced olives
  • Sliced green onion (scallions)
  •  
    Idea: Set the options out in ramekins and let everyone customize his or her own recipe.
     
      

    Comments

    TIP OF THE DAY: Pumpkin Mac & Cheese

    Italian-American families often have a festive pasta dish such as lasagna at the Thanksgiving table, along with traditional Turkey Day foods.

    We’ve got two options for Pumpkin Mac & Cheese, a treat throughout the holiday season. Both recipes are courtesy of Cabot Creamery, makers of our favorite supermarket Cheddar.

    This first recipe is courtesy of Kristina LaRue, RD, LDN, for Cabot Creamery. It uses better-for-you whole grain pasta and flour. Note that in this recipe, you can substitute white pastry flour and conventional elbow macaroni; but in baking cookies, cakes, muffins, etc., the substitution proportions will differ.

    RECIPE: PUMPKIN MAC & CHEESE

    Ingredients

  • 14 ounces whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 4 slices center-cut bacon
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3 cups nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup 100% pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 6 ounces Cabot Alpine Cheddar*, shredded and divided
  • 6 ounces Cabot White Oak Cheddar*, shredded and divided
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •    

    Pumpkin_Mac_and_Cheese_cabot-230

    Pumpkin Mac & Cheese. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.

     
    *The recipe used Cabot Alpine Cheddar and Cabot White Oak Cheddar, but you can substitute Sharp Cheddar or Extra Sharp Cheddar.
     

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Coat a 13 X 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.

    2. COOK the macaroni to al dente according to package directions. Rinse and drain.

    3. LINE a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange bacon. Cook bacon for 10 minutes and blot dry. Crumble and set aside.

    4. MELT the butter in large pot over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and slowly add the milk until the mixture is smooth and the ingredients are incorporated.

    5. STIR in the canned pumpkin and continue to whisk until the mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the spices, cheese (reserve 1/2 cup for topping) and yogurt, whisking quickly to combine until the cheese is melted.

    6. POUR the macaroni into the prepared baking dish and coat evenly with the pumpkin cheese sauce. Top with the remaining cheese and bacon.

    7. BAKE for 20 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

     

    Mac___Cheese_in_a_Pumpkin-cabot-230

    Your favorite mac and cheese recipe can served in a baked pumpkin. Photo courtesy Cabot Creamery.

     

    RECIPE: MAC & CHEESE BAKED IN A PUMPKIN

    This recipe is baked in a pumpkin, but there is no pumpkin flesh in the recipe. Instead, you can use the recipe above for a pumpkin-in-pumpkin dish.

    Ingredients For 16 Servings

  • 1 large pumpkin, about 11 inches in diameter, preferably with one flat side
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 cups small elbow macaroni
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter
  • 6 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • Large pinch ground red pepper (cayenne)
  • 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cups whole milk, heated
  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) Cabot Sharp Cheddar or Cabot Extra Sharp Cheddar, grated & divided
  • 1 cup buttered bread crumbs
  • Optional garnish: sprigs of fresh thyme
  •  

    Preparation

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 375ºF.

    2. PLACE the pumpkin flat-side-down or remove thin slice from one side so the pumpkin will be stable. With a sharp knife, cut the pumpkin in half horizontally, slightly above stem, to form a bowl. Remove the fiber and seeds. With a spoon or an ice cream scoop, scrape out some of the flesh so shell has a thickness of 3/4 to 1 inch.

    3. SPRAY the top edge of the pumpkin with cooking spray or brush lightly with oil; then place it cut-side down on a pizza pan or baking sheet. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until the pumpkin still holds it shape but the flesh is cooked and can be pierced easily with a toothpick. While pumpkin bakes…

    4. COOK the macaroni according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

    5. MAKE the cheese sauce: Melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Sprinkle the flour into the butter and whisk constantly until there is a thick, smooth paste with nutty aroma (about 5 minutes).

    6. ADD the mustard, red pepper and Worcestershire. Gradually whisk in the milk and continue stirring until the sauce thickens and returns to a simmer.

    7. REDUCE the heat to low. Add 7 cups of the cheese and stir until melted. Add the macaroni, stirring until well coated; remove from the heat.

    8. TURN the baked pumpkin over with oven mitts. Place it in a large shallow baking dish (from which you’ll serve it), or leave it on the baking sheet. Fill the pumpkin with the macaroni mixture and top with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. (Put any mac and cheese that won’t fit into another small baking dish).

    9. BAKE until the filling is puffed and golden, about 40 to 50 minutes longer (a smaller baking dish will be done sooner). Let stand for about 10 minutes to settle before serving. Garnish and serve.

      

    Comments

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