2 (12-ounce) cans 2% evaporated milk
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
4 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1 lb. dry pasta (I used large elbow macaroni)
16 oz. shredded cheese of your choice (I used a combination of various aged cheddar cheeses)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko for extra crunch)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, and then return the pasta back to the pot.
Meanwhile (while the pasta is cooking), in a separate bowl, whisk together the evaporated milk, pumpkin puree, eggs, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and cayenne until combined. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, pour the evaporated milk mixture into the pot with the pasta and stir until combined. Continue cooking over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 3-4 minutes, or until the sauce comes to a simmer and thickens.
Remove pan from heat and stir in about 12 oz. of the shredded cheese and the Parmesan until melted and evenly-distributed.
*If you would like to bake the macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs, continue onto these final steps. Or you can serve the macaroni as-is at this point from the stovetop.*
Pour about half of the pasta into the prepared baking pan. Then sprinkle with half of the remaining cheese. Pour the remainder of the pasta to make a second layer, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese and breadcrumbs.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the breadcrumbs are toasted. Remove and serve immediately.
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