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Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells

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The trend these days is working with pumpkin. It’s no surprise with Halloween that just passed and Thanksgiving just around the corner. Most of the time, pumpkin is used in sweet baked goods but I’ve been interested in savory applications lately. These Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells is definitely a must-try if you’re looking to get some savory use out of pumpkin. Pumpkin, a blend of cheeses and herbs make a delicious filling for jumbo shells, which are baked to perfection. This is one pumpkin dish the whole family will love!

When my friend Jess mentioned she would be making this dish for the recent potluck playdate I hosted for Halloween, I was pretty excited. Granted, I couldn’t really eat the pasta but what I was really after was the filling. It was absolutely divine! It was more cheesy than anything but the addition of pumpkin gave it a slight sweetness and richness that was perfectly fitting for the season. To make this gluten-free, use gluten- free jumbo shells (if you can find them); otherwise make this dish into a casserole instead! I plan on making this with gluten-free pasta and combining it with the filling. Bake it into a casserole dish and enjoy!

Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells
recipe from my friend, Jess

1 (26 ounce) jar of tomato sauce

24 jumbo pasta shells

1 tablespoon olive oil

22 ounces ricotta

1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

3/4 cups grated Pecorino-Romato (or Parmesan) cheese

1 large egg white

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh sage

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Topping:

3/4 cups grated Pecorino-Romato (or Parmesan) cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the tomato sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish; set aside.

Cook pasta shells per package directions; drain and toss with olive oil. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a large bowl, create the filling by combining the remaining ingredients. Fill the shells in the baking dish with the filling.

Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle remaining cheese on shells. Bake for another 15 more minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.

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