Can you tell that fall is calling my name? Z and I just moved back into an apartment with a wood burning fireplace and I can’t wait until it is chilly enough to light a fire, drink some soup, and cozy on up. I love recipes that are creative with butternut squash because, let’s be honest, besides butternut squash soup, what else immediately comes to mind to make with those bell-shaped, hard to get the flesh out squashes? I cheated a bit and used frozen cubed butternut squash in this recipe, but mainly because the store I was shopping at didn’t have any butternut squash yet. But I must admit, I really liked how easy it was to use the frozen cubed squash. Just don’t tell my squashes when they turn up in my organic produce delivery come fall.
Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Brown Butter Sage Sauce
Inspired by the Proud Italian Cook
Serves 4 (around 16 stuffed shells)
- 2 packages of frozen cubed butternut squash, thawed (or one whole squash – flesh removed, cubed, and roasted)
- 1 box of jumbo pasta shells (you will most likely have some leftover)
- 2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1/3 c. shredded parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for a garnish
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1/2 c. frozen chopped spinach (squeezed and drained)
- 1 egg
- 1 T. salt
- 1 t. ground pepper
- 1 lemon
- 1 stick of butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the pasta shells according to the directions on the box.
2. In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, parmesan, garlic, spinach, egg, salt and pepper, the thawed (or cooled down roasted squash), and zest from one lemon (about 1 T.).
3. Stuff each cooked pasta shell with a large spoonful of the cheese mixture. Place each shell into a buttered 9×13 dish.
4. Place shells in the oven and cook at 400 degrees until heated through, about 25 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, melt the stick of butter in a medium pan until the butter is golden brown and bubbly. Add the sage leaves until slightly crispy. Turn off heat and squeeze in 1 T. of fresh lemon juice.
6. When shells are done, remove from the oven and drizzle the brown butter sauce over the shells. Serve immediately with fresh parmesan sprinkled on top if you desire.