And it’s this creamy, rich quality that makes them perfect for sauces.
Though winter squash can vary greatly on the outside, with different shapes, sizes, and colors ranging from orange to yellow to whites to subtle blues and deep greens, interestingly, they are all similar on the inside- with orange-yellow flesh and a center full of seeds.
How to make Stuffed Shells with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce
Step 1: Roast the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin in half, scrape out the seeds, place it on a parchment lined sheet pan and roast in 425F oven for 30-40 minutes or until tender when pierced with the tip of a fork.
Yes, you can use canned pumpkin puree. 🙂
Step 5: Assemble and Bake!
Pour a little sauce on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
You can use one large baking dish or several small individual baking dishes.
On the homefront: Like fireworks in the night sky, they exploded over our heads, raining down seeds and guts and orange flesh. This is what happens when you play pumpkin baseball.
I never knew smashing pumpkins could be so much fun! Perhaps a bit irreverent, but soon they would become mulch anyhow- so we started the process a few days early.
A golden light-filled afternoon spent outside with friends – pressing fresh apples into cider, pumpkin picking, and pumpkin carving -turned into an unforgettable evening. After dinner, a scavenger hunt entertained the kids, then a jack-o-lantern contest with pumpkin faces all aglow in the dark.
Before the night ended, we took to the lawn. Pumpkin baseball! Organized lines of pitchers and batters sprayed pumpkin bits across the starry night towards the pumpkin patch. It was messy, beautiful, and exhilarating and for a few fleeting minutes, I felt like a kid again, giddy!
Wish you moments of pure joyous giddiness this weekend.
Stuffed shells with Italian sausage (or substitute mushrooms) and a creamy flavorful Pumpkin Parmesan sauce.
- 2 cups roasted pumpkin (or any winter squash like acorn, kuri, delicata, butternut…. or use canned pumpkin puree)
- 24 large pasta “shells” about 10 oz
- 16 oz Spicy Italian sausage ( turkey sausage, or plant-based sausage or ground plant-based meat)
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 4 cloves garlic- minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, finely chopped, optional
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons toasted Pine nuts ( optional)
- 15 oz ricotta cheese
- 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- 1/4– 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup whole milk or nut milk
- 1/2 cup Parmesan or pecorino romano cheese
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp sugar or maple
- pinch white pepper
- fresh grated nutmeg or 1/2 tsp ground
- 425 F Oven
- Roast winter squash: cut it in half, scrape out seeds and roast open side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 35-45 minutes, until easily pierced with the tip of a knife.
- In the meantime, boil water for shells, and cook shells according to directions. Drain, coat with olive oil and set aside.
- Make the filling: Brown the sausage in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Set aside on a paper-lined plate. Wipe out skillet, heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and saute onions over med heat until golden and tender. Add garlic and optional mushrooms. Saute on med-low heat until mushrooms are tender. Add sage, saute for one minute and turn heat off. Place sausage back in to the pan and stir in pine nuts (optional), ricotta and mozzarella. Taste for salt ( some sausage is saltier than others) and add 1/4- 1/2 tsp kosher salt -if needed, and cracked pepper. Stir and set aside. See notes for vegetarian version.
- Make the Pumpkin Sauce: When the pumpkin is done, remove from oven, turn heat down to 350. Spoon out 2 cups of roasted squash into a blender with cold chicken stock, milk, Parmesan, ½ tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, nutmeg and pepper. Blend until very smooth and silky.
- In a large greased baking dish ( or individual ramekins) pour enough sauce to coat the bottom. Stuff the shells and place them in the baking dish over the sauce.
- Pour more sauce over top. Cover with foil and bake at 350 F until heated through, about 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking another 10 minutes. You could add more cheese or any remaining sauce to the top at this point.
To keep this vegetarian, sub vegan chorizo, or just use 1 lb pound of mushrooms sauteed.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 495
- Sugar: 7.6 g
- Sodium: 820.6 mg
- Fat: 15.6 g
- Saturated Fat: 6.5 g
- Carbohydrates: 53.8 g
- Fiber: 5.8 g
- Protein: 29.4 g
- Cholesterol: 50.1 mg
Keywords: Baked shells, pumpkin sauce, baked shells with sausage, italian sausage baked shells, creamy pumpkin sauce