I have to warn you. This mac & cheese is good. Too good. It will ravish you with all of its cheesy, flavorful glory, but you must never surrender to the pressure to eat it everyday for the rest of your life. It's a tough battle, but I'm willing to take my chances.
While the addition of pumpkin puree and fresh rosemary probably make this dish vastly different from the mac & cheese of our childhood, the gooey, cheesy flavor and shell pasta make it just reminiscent enough to still count as comfort food. Plus, the pumpkin offers a nutty, creamy flavor that your dinner guests probably won't be able to pinpoint. Add in some rosemary and cayenne, and you have yourself one complex dish that isn't all that complicated to make.
I followed Jenna's recipe almost exactly, but omitted the breadcrumbs and only used a little over three cups of milk. I also opted to use orecchiette, which is quickly becoming my favorite pasta shape for the way it holds onto the sauce just enough without hogging it. =)
[Update: After a taste test, I prefer Kate's variation on this recipe. The addition of Velveeta makes for a more silky smooth sauce.]
What's your favorite comfort food?