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posted: 11/7/2012 3:47 PM

Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese

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1 pound higher fiber, macaroni pasta (such as Barilla PLUS)

¾ cup 1 percent milk

1 can (12 ounces) fat-free evaporated milk

1½ teaspoons dry mustard, dissolved in 2 teaspoons water

2 tablespoons all-purpose, unbleached flour

8 ounces Velveeta Light reduced-fat processed cheese

4 ounces reduced-fat, sharp cheddar cheese

1/3 cup 1-percent cottage cheese (not Light n' Lively brand)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

¼ cup nonfat sour cream

1 cup canned pumpkin purée

In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of cold water to a boil over high heat. Add 1 generous tablespoon of kosher salt (or 1½ generous teaspoons table salt) to the water and stir until dissolved. When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the macaroni pasta and stir until the water returns to a boil. Reduce the heat to keep the pot from boiling over and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until the macaroni is tender. Drain well, do not rinse, and return to the pan.

While the macaroni cooks, add milk, evaporated milk, mustard paste and flour to a 2-quart saucepan. With a wire whisk, whisk together until combined. Place the saucepan over medium heat, and while stirring bring almost to a simmer. Add the three cheeses; season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to low and stir until the cheese melts. Stir in sour cream and pumpkin purée until incorporated, and remove the pan from the heat.

Pour sauce over the drained macaroni and, over medium-low heat, stir together until heated through and combined, about 1 minute.

Serves eight; 1½-cup servings.

Cook's note: This will seem a little soupy when assembled, but thickens as it rests before serving.

Nutrition values per serving: 395 calories (15 percent from fat), 7 g fat (3.7 g saturated), 58.4 g carbohydrates, 4.9 g fiber, 22.4 g protein, 14 mg cholesterol, 801 mg sodium.

SaltSense: Omitting the added salt reduces the sodium per serving to 668 mg.

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