pumpkin + ricotta stuffed shells

Autumn to many people means all things pumpkin all the time.  Although it's always a good idea to make pumpkin pancakes and the best ever pumpkin bundt cake, I like using pumpkin in savory dishes as well.  Pumpkin and Barley Soup will need to be made again soon, and then there's these Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells.

I decided to make these soon after Anderson was born and had myself wondering why I was so crazy to think I'd make stuffed shells with a newborn.  Lucky for me, and you, these are simple to throw together and perfectly kid friendly as well!  I'm not sure why we don't make stuffed shells more often in fact as it's a perfect way to slip some veggies into your kids dinner.  Children aside, these are delicious and perfectly timely for the season.

These are best if you have the fresh herbs on hand but if not don't let that stop you.  Whip them up and watch them disappear!

{Recipe thanks to Country Living}

{Ingredients You'll Need}

  • 1 package (or 24) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 22 ounces or 2 1/2 cups ricotta
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 2 1/2 ounces or 3/4 cup plus 2 Tablespoons of pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 cup fresh basil (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (26-ounc) jar tomato sauce
1.  Cook the pasta according to the package directions and place on a cookie sheet to cool and drizzle with olive oil.

2.  Meanwhile pour the tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 and preheat your oven to 350.

3.  Stir together everything from the ricotta through pepper using just 3/4 cup of the Parmesan at this step then using a spoon fill each pasta shell with about 3 tablespoons of the mixture and nestle them into the tomato sauce.

4.  Cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes then remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining 2 Tablespoons of Parmesan and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Serve warm with a tossed salad and big loaf of crunchy bread to sop up the sauce!

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