Thanksgiving is right around the corner and I have the perfect addition for your menu. These Pumpkins Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni, from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese, are not only delicious but will WOW your guests. An innovative mac & cheese recipe, but easy to make for not only Thanksgiving but any fall meal.
Love macaroni and cheese? Stupid question I know, because how could you NOT love macaroni and cheese, right? You’re going to want to check out Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. Add it to your holiday gift list for yourself, and not to mention the gift list for your foodie friends and family. There are a lot of gorgeous pictures and tasty looking recipes in the book. Some of the recipes are really unique and make you rethink the traditional mac & cheese. I’m looking forward to trying some of the other recipes including Paneer, Pineapple, and Cucumber Pasta Salad. A few other recipes that stuck out to me are Chocolate Pasta with Bucherondin, Hazelnuts, and Cherries; Savory Sheep’s-Milk Ricotta with Raspberries and Capellini; Chili-Mac with Redwood Hill Smoked Goat Cheddar; and Beef Stroganoff with Egg Noodles and Moody Blue. Also in the book, is a lot of helpful hints and information about different types of cheese.
Be sure to check out the Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese for not only more information about the book, but also until December 15th you can enter to win a $500 set of Le Creuset cookare and a $100 gift certificate for Murray’s Cheese.
Enough chit-chat, let’s get started on the Pumpkins Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and macaroni! These stuffed pumpkins may look difficult but they’re actually really easy to make. However, they do need a lot of time in the oven for the pumpkin to cook through so be sure to give yourself plenty of time. The recipe called for one sugar pumpkin (about 5 pounds) but my local stores only had smaller ones (about 2 1/2 – 3 pounds each) so I just used two pumpkins and it worked great.
Salt and pepper the inside of your pumpkins, place the tops back on the pumpkins, then place the pumpkins on a rimmed baking sheet. Be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet in case the pumpkins leak a little. Bake the pumpkins for about 45 minutes. Prep the rest of the dish while your pumpkins are baking. Cook the sausage and pasta. I used a mild Italian sausage but any kind would work. I also used shell pasta rather than elbow, but any small pasta would be great.
Then combine in a large bowl including the sausage, pasta, cheeses, scallions, and herbs. Spoon the filling into the pumpkins then pour the cream over the top of the filling and bake the stuffed pumpkins for another hour. Take the top off the pumpkins for the last 15 minutes so the top of your pasta can get browned and bubbly if you’d like. I was in a bit of a hurry so I couldn’t get mine as browned as I would have liked, but it was still really good! My family gobbled this mac & cheese up in no time! Hope you enjoy!
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|Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni||
- 2 small sugar pumpkins (about 2½-3 pounds each) or 1 large (about 5 pounds)
- salt & black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ¼ pound mild Italian pork sausage, casings removed
- 4 ounces small shaped pasta (such as elbow or shells)
- 5 ounces Fontina cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 2 ounces Gruyere cheese, cut into ¼-inch cubes
- 3 scallions, diced
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the top off of pumpkins. Scoop out the seeds and strings. Sprinkle salt and pepper into inside of pumpkins then place tops back on. Place pumpkins on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Crumble sausage into small chunks and cook until lightly browned and cooked through, about 4-6 minutes. Drain excess fat, and set sausage aside to cool.
- Cook pasta according to package directions in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta, and rinse with cool water.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together Fontina, Gruyere, sausage, pasta, scallions, and herbs until combined.
- When pumpkins are finished, remove from oven and stuff with pasta mixture. Pour cream over filling. Place tops back on pumpkins and bake at 350 degrees F for an additional 60 minutes (for last 15 minutes, remove pumpkin top so top of cheese can brown).
- Remove pumpkins from oven and cool about 10 minutes before serving. To serve, you can cut pumpkin into sections or just spoon out pasta with some of the pumpkin onto serving dishes.
SNAPPY SUBSTITUTIONS: Substitute your favorite melting cheeses for the Fontina and Gruyere cheese.
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(This recipe was adapted from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie Stiavetti & Garrett McCord)
Disclosure: A free copy of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese was provided to review but no other compensation was provided. All opinions are my own.