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Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

10 ounces diced butternut squash (about 2 1/2 cups)
1 small shallot, halved
1 clove garlic, unpeeled
2–3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
1 large leaf fresh sage, finely chopped, plus more for serving
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
30 jumbo pasta shells (about 10 ounces)
1/4 cup vegetable broth or water
Bunches of fresh spinach, chopped blanched and well drained (you may substitute Kale if you have on hand)
3 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
2 cups grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 cup heavy cream, 1 cup light cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup freshly grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Peel the butternut squash, cut in ½, remove the seeds and cut into cubes.
Place squash into a large bowl and add the shallot and garlic clove.
Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle in the thyme, sage, 1/4 t salt and a few grinds of black pepper be sure all the squash is coasted.
Spread out onto a parchment lined baking sheet, large enough for all of the vegetables to be in one layer.
Roast until the squash is fork tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes. Allow to cool.
Mix together the spinach, ricotta, red pepper flakes, 2/3 cup of the Parmesan and 1 tablespoon salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
Squeeze the roasted garlic into a small food processor or blender, add the squash, shallot and vegetable broth and puree until smooth.
Add the pureed squash mixture, heavy cream and butter to a large skillet over medium heat.
Cook, whisking frequently, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the nutmeg, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and the remaining 1 1/3 cups Parmesan.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add the pasta shells and cook until al dente according to the package directions. Drain and let cool.
Stuff a heaping tablespoon of the spinach mixture into each shell; set aside
Spread the cheese sauce into the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange the stuffed shells in the baking dish seam-side up, shingling them so they all fit (you should have 5 shells along the short side and 6 shells along the long side). Top with the mozzarella.
Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling, 15 to 20 minutes. Top with more Parmesan and sage before serving.
I found that saving some of the cheese sauce was key to using for drizzle on top after baking.

Adapted by Jenn Borrealo from: foodnetwork.com

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2 thoughts on “Roasted Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

  1. ellen dec

    just love you blog and all the wonderful recipes – wish you could find set the blog so we could save the recipes via Pinterest.

    1. Maxine Finney

      Thank you for your suggestion ellen, we will look into this further.

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