Macaroni and cheese is comfort food at its best…who doesn’t love it? It’s not something I make very often (translation: I never make it) so I was excited when Stephanie asked me if I’d like to review the brand new book she co-wrote with Garrett. It’s called Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese.

book photo 2

From the first moment I opened the book, I knew it was a winner. Melt is a beautifully photographed celebration of artisanal cheeses, and it’s filled with numerous unique ideas for how to pair these cheeses with pasta (but not just pasta: some of the recipes in the book don’t involve pasta at all). The writing is fun and engaging.

It did not take me long to decide which recipe from the book I wanted to share on my blog. The Pumpkin Stuffed with Pasta, Fontina and Italian Sausage Macaroni on page 128 was too much of a stunner to pass up! I’ve now made it three times since I received the book.

book photo 1_

Sugar pumpkins are incredibly nutritious and make a lovely receptacle for this delectable dish. I actually doubled the recipe for the mac and cheese (and only baked 1/2 in the pumpkin) because I wanted to have plenty of leftovers to send with my kids to school for lunch. I love Fontina and was excited to use it, but I had a little trouble finding Gruyère: I substituted Provolone and it worked out great.

pumpkin mac_text

Stephanie and Garrett say this is a flexible creation and suggest different ways you can tailor it to work with what you have on hand (see the recipe below for more details). I opted not to use macaroni: I made this with organic Conchiglie produced from a company called Montebello (a brand imported from Italy that I buy it at my local natural food store). The other changes I made are noted below in parentheses.

If you decide to buy the book (come on…do it!), be sure to enter the Melt Le Crueset Giveaway! Stephanie has the info about it over on her blog.

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pumpkin mac 2_


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  1. 1

    Becca @ Amuse Your Bouche — October 31, 2013 @ 3:57 pm

    This is gorgeous! That book sounds amazing, I LOVE macaroni cheese. It looks so pretty presented inside a pumpkin! I’d love to sit with this on my lap and work my way through it hahaha, no sharing for me ;)

  2. 2

    Winnie — October 31, 2013 @ 4:18 pm

    I can totally relate. Picturing this on your lap right now…too funny :)

  3. 3

    Stephanie — October 31, 2013 @ 4:27 pm

    Thanks so much, Winnie! This is a lovely post. :) So glad you loved the dish.

  4. 4

    Winnie — October 31, 2013 @ 4:29 pm

    You are welcome, Stephanie! Well done with the book…seriously, it’s wonderful.

  5. 5

    Lizthechef — October 31, 2013 @ 8:34 pm

    OK, I am SO totally over-the-top impressed…You and your daring culinary creativity always push me to try to be more daring in my kitchen, Winnie.

  6. 6

    Winnie — November 1, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    Well, I can’t really take the credit this time, Liz :) The credit must go to Stephanie and Garrett!

  7. 7

    Laura (Tutti Dolci) — October 31, 2013 @ 10:36 pm

    I love your presentation in the pumpkin, such a neat idea and this dish would be so fun/surprising to entertain with!

  8. 8

    Winnie — November 1, 2013 @ 8:15 pm

    I hope you give it a try, Laura!

  9. 9

    Alice // Hip Foodie Mom — November 1, 2013 @ 12:13 am

    I have this cookbook as well and LOVE it!!!

  10. 10

    Winnie — November 1, 2013 @ 8:14 pm

    It’s great, right! I can’t wait to make more of the recipes!