When the weather changes, all I want to do is hide under a blanket, turn on the tv, get out my fluffy slippers and eat all the carbs in the entire world!
I’m currently planning all sorts of fall activities. They’re cliche but I love doing them anyway. You know like making a fall wreath, going apple picking, drinking lots of coffee, shopping for a new pair of boots. All of these things get me in the mood for fall.
These stuffed shells are comfort in a pot. The jumbo shells are stuffed with ricotta that’s been gussied up with basil and sage and a bit of cheesy mozzarella. The sauce is my favorite pumpkin alfredo. It’s flavorful and has every bit of fall in it. I love adding a bit of yogurt ore creme fraiche because it gives this dish a wonderful tang which I think is necessary amidst all of the richness. It cuts it a bit and it’s just amazing. If you don’t feel like fussing with the stuffing of the shells, skip it and just make the sauce. It tossed with a bit of pasta is still really good.
Pumpkin Alfredo with Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- 12 ounces of pasta (about 26 jumbo shells)
- For the Ricotta Filling:
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1 large egg
- 3 fresh basil leaves, minced
- 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of crushed red pepper
- For the Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
- 2 to 3 fresh sage
- 2 tablespoons yogurt or labneh or creme fraiche (basically something tart!)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Freshly cracked black pepper
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and set it aside (we’re going to use it with the sauce later on). Drain the pasta and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil (this will ensure the pasta doesn’t stick). Set aside.
- Preheat the one to 375 degrees F. To a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, mozzarella, egg, minced basil and sage, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper.
- In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring constantly, until it begins to foam and brown speckles appear. Keep stirring until the foam subsides and the color turns medium brown. Add the shallots and garlic clove and turn down the heat to mediumlow. Cook until the shallots have softened, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the pumpkin, sprigs of sage, yogurt or labneh or creme fraiche, Parmesan and 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water. The sauce should be saucey! It will thicken as it bakes with the shells so feel free to add a bit more pasta water, if needed.
- Stuff each shell with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture and arrange in a 2 3/4-Qt braiser or 13x9 inch casserole dish. Pour the sauce around the shells and cover with a sheet of foil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.
Adrianna Adarme is a food blogger and author living in Los Angeles, California. She writes the blog A Cozy Kitchen, where she shares comforting, everyday recipes from her kitchen. She recently authored her first cookbook, PANCAKES: 72 Sweet and Savory Recipes for the Perfect Stack. She’s a lover of breakfast, pie (and sometimes even pie for breakfast), corgis and cute things. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.