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