Pumpkin Mac & Cheese Pizza

January 22, 2015

 

 

Mac & cheese with pumpkin, onions, Cheddar, Mozzarella, garlic & nutmeg, topped with scallions, chives, cherry tomatoes & toasted panko bread crumbs

This pizza may not be the most elegant or refined of the pies we've created (especially compared to the previous one), but sometimes you just have to give in to pizza comfort food a little. We'd made a mac & cheese pizza before, though this was in the days when we were still bright eyed and bushy tailed and not writing anything down. So this time we decided to do it for real, and of course kick it up a bit by adding some pumpkin. We used canned pumpkin puree, but if you have some sugar pumpkins you feel like roasting, then I'm always a fan of the homemade puree—or even diced roasted pumpkin mixed into the mac. Or if you'd like some more spice, you could add a little sriracha to the mix. You really can't go wrong with mac & cheese, so feel free to play around with it.

Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 ball of pizza dough

olive oil

salt & pepper

flour for dusting

semolina flour for pizza stone

2-3 large grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

1-2 scallions (white & pale green parts only), sliced

 

For the toasted breadcrumbs:

1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1/2 cup parmesan

3 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon olive oil

 

For the mac & cheese:

1/2 pound dried rotini pasta

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 white onion, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

pinch of ground nutmeg

3 tablespoon flour

2 cups whole milk

1.5 cups grated sharp cheddar

1 cup grated mozzarella

2/3 cup pumpkin puree

 

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 500° F. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain in a colander and toss it with about a tablespoon of olive oil.

 

In a pan, melt a tablespoon of butter over medium heat and add the onions. Sauté for about a minute, then add the garlic and nutmeg, cooking for a few more minutes until the onions have softened. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the flour, stirring until everything is coated. Keep cooking and stirring as a roux forms, about 5 minutes.

 

Now whisk in the milk until the sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Mix in the cheddar and mozzarella, followed by the pumpkin puree. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the pasta until fully combined. Cover the mac & cheese and keep it warm until you’re ready to use it.

 

In a small bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, parmesan, chives and a tablespoon of olive oil. This is going to become a toasty crust on the top of your mac & cheese.

 

As soon as you have a free minute, prepare your dough using the instructions on the right. Once you’ve baked it for a minute, take it out and brush it lightly with olive oil. Now spread the mac & cheese in an even layer across the dough, followed by the breadcrumb mixture and the cherry tomatoes.

 

Bake until the crust is a nice golden brown and the breadcrumbs are getting toasty, then take it out, top with the scallions, and enjoy!

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HOW TO PREPARE DOUGH

#1 

Start stretching it from the center, then move it around in a circle so that gravity stretches it and creates a natural crust. It helps to put some olive oil on your hands first.

 

#2

Place the dough on your floured surface & push it out with your fingertips until it's the size of your pizza stone. You can fold over the edges to create an extra fluffy crust.

 

#3

When the oven is hot (preheat it with the stone inside), sprinkle some semolina flour on the pizza stone and place your dough on it.

#4

Bake it for about a minute, or until it starts to bubble, then take it out. This last step isn't 100% necessary, but I feel like it adds a little extra crispiness to the crust.

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