Saturday, September 20, 2014

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

This recipe comes from the  October 2011 issue of Coutry Living and has been living in my files for the last three years. Now that it is almost Fall I've been craving pumpkin and comfort food (and cleaning out my pantry in preperation for a kitchen remodel) and now seemed like the perfect time to make this.

Ingredients

  • 24   jumbo pasta shells
  • 1  tablespoon(s) extra virgin olive oil
  • 22  ounce(s) (2 1/2 cups) fat-free ricotta
  • 1  can(s) (15-ounce) pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 ounce(s) pecorino Romano, grated (3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons)
  • 1  large egg white
  • 2  clove(s) garlic, minced
  • 1  cup(s) fresh basil, chopped
  • 1  tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1  teaspoon(s) salt
  • 1  teaspoon(s) freshly ground pepper
  • 1  jar(s) (26-ounce) store-bought tomato sauce

Directions

  1. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions; drain. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Set aside and let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pumpkin, 3/4 cup pecorino Romano, and remaining ingredients, except tomato sauce.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread sauce in bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 3 tablespoons ricotta-pumpkin mixture and arrange in pan. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Remove foil, sprinkle shells with remaining pecorino, and bake for 15 minutes more. (If desired, stuff shells the night before and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container, in between layers of plastic wrap; arrange shells on sauce right before baking.)

Cook's Notes:

1. I made this for dinner guests and served it with a tomato/basil bread salad and sauteed brussels sprouts (in bacon grease) for an ultimate comfort meal. 
2. The filling actually makes more than what you can stuff in 24 shells, so I just cooked the whole box of shells, added more tomato sauce and made two pans of this, one of which I froze. 
3. We were out of eggs, so I didn't use one. Still tasted delicious.
4. I will make this again!

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