Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

And I made Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells!

After a little hesitation from both me and Adam, we actually enjoyed the pumpkin twist on the old classic! The flavor was much more complex than the typical ricotta and mozzarella filling. And when you think pumpkin, don't think sweet. Think dimension and savory. Although I think I would serve it as a side dish with some meat, just for texture.

And if you us low fat ricotta (of course I did not - I used whole milk ricotta. yum!), this dish has less calories (and more flavor!) than the traditional recipe!

My Aunt Donna mailed me this recipe (thank you!!). It's from October 2011 Country Living magazine.

24 jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
22 ounces ricotta (2 1/2 cups)
1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
2 1/2 ounces pecorino Romano, grated (3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons)
1 large egg white
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup fresh basil, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped (I omitted)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 (26 oz.) jar marinara sauce

Cook pasta shells according to package instructions; drain. Transer to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Set aside and let cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together ricotta, pumpkin, 3/4 cup pecorino Romano, and remaining ingredients, except marinara sauce.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread sauce in bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 3 tablespoons ricotta-pumpkin mixture and arrange in the pan. Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle shells with remaining pecorino, and bake for 15 minutes.

Or you can do what I did and stuff the shells the night before and refrigerate overnight in an airtight container, in between layers of plastic wrap; arrange shells on sauce right before baking.

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