Butternut squash & sausage stuffed shells

Butternut quash and sausage stuffed shellsI love the flavors of fall: squash, cinnamon, nutmeg … the list goes on. There’s something incredibly comforting about these flavors. And when you put them together in one dish, it’s like magic.

I recently found a recipe for butternut squash and sausage stuffed shells that looked amazing—so of course I had to try it. The filling is a sausage, spinach, and ricotta mixture, while the sauce is composed of pureed butternut squash, onions, and a few fall spices. Put it altogether and you get a super yummy dish that’s perfect any time of the day.

BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SAUSAGE STUFFED SHELLS
Servings: About 4-5

Ingredients:
1 large butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 large yellow onion, sliced
¾ cup milk
¾ cup vegetable broth
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound sausage
2 cups spinach
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente
15 ounces ricotta
1 egg
¼ cup parmesan, shredded
Additional parmesan, shredded
Olive oil
Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Arrange the onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for about 50 minutes.
  3. While the vegetables are roasting, cook the sausage over medium heat. When the sausage is browned, add the spinach and garlic. Cook until the spinach is wilted and the garlic is fragrant (but not burnt) and remove from the heat.
  4. Place the roasted butternut squash and onion in a food processor. Pulse until a smooth puree forms. Allow to cool.
  5. Stir in the milk, vegetable broth, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour butternut squash sauce into the base of a 9×13 baking dish.
  6. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the ricotta, parmesan, and egg. Add sausage and spinach into the ricotta mixture, and stir until evenly distributed.
  7. Fill the cooked pasta shells with the mixture. Arrange the shells in the butternut squash sauce in the baking dish.
  8. Bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil, followed by 15 minutes uncovered.
  9. Top with additional parmesan.

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