- 1 pound whole wheat or whole grain short-cut pasta, such as rigatoni or penne
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 slightly rounded tablespoons flour
- 1 cup amber beer
- 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
- 2 cups whole milk
- A couple of pinches ground cloves or 1/2 teaspoon allspice
- About 1 teaspoon ground mustard
- A pinch of cayenne pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 14-ounce can unsweetened pumpkin pure or 2 cups pured fresh roasted pumpkin or butternut squash
- 2 1/2 cups shredded sharp yellow cheddar cheese, divided
- Sweet paprika, for sprinkling
- Chopped parsley or chives to garnish
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt it and cook pasta to al dente. Drain and reserve. Preheat broiler.
Melt butter in a medium saucepot over medium heat. Whisk in flour, cook for 1 minute, then raise heat a bit and add beer. Reduce until almost evaporated then whisk in honey or syrup and milk. Season with cloves or allspice, mustard, cayenne, a little freshly grated nutmeg, some salt and pepper. Thicken to coat spoon, a couple of minutes, then taste to adjust seasonings.
Whisk in pumpkin pure then stir in about 2 cups grated cheese with a wooden spoon until melted. Combine pasta with sauce and arrange in a casserole or individual ramekins. Sprinkle remaining cheese and a light dusting of paprika. Broil to brown and bubble. Garnish with chopped parsley or chives.