- 1 pound of short-cut whole wheat pasta; such as macaroni or penne
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons of flour; slightly rounded
- 1 cup of amber beer (such as Half Pints Bulldog Amber Ale)
- 2 tablespoons of maple syrup
- 2 cups of milk (skim works fine)
- 2 pinches of ground cloves (or 1/2 teaspoon of allspice)
- 1 teaspoon of ground mustard
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-14 ounce can of pure pumpkin purée
- 2 and 1/2 cups of shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese; divided
- sweet paprika for sprinkling
- chopped parsley, chives or a sprig of thyme for garnish
1. Pre-heat oven to 350’F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water and then cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside.
2. Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour ensuring no lumps develop; cook for 1 minute. Raise heat a small bit and add beer. Whisk well to ensure no lumps form. Once the beer has evaporated a bit (about 5 minutes), whisk in the maple syrup and milk. Season with cloves or allspice, mustard, cayenne and the nutmeg. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the mixture to cook on medium heat until the sauce leaves a thick coat on the back of a spoon (about 3 minutes).
3. Whisk in the pumpkin purée then stir in 2 cups of grated cheddar cheese. Mix until the cheese is melted. Combine the pasta and the sauce and arrange in a casserole dish or individual ramekins. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top. Dust tops lightly with paprika. Bake for 15 minutes and/or broil to allow the top to get brown and bubbly.
4. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, chives or sprigs of thyme.
Source: Rachel Ray