Friday, 19 September 2014

In the Kitchen: Pumpkin & Ricotta Stuffed Shells

With Fall on our door step I thought it would be nice to make one of my favorite pasta dishes that is inspired by Fall. My mother shared this fabulous recipe with me. Pumpkin and Ricotta Stuffed Shells. It reduces the calories and fat by substituting half the ricotta with pumpkin puree. The results while lighter taste rich and creamy packed with the earthy flavor of pumpkin. We recently made this dish the main course for dinner with a couple of our good friends. 

What you need
24 Jumbo pasta shells
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
22 oz part skim ricotta cheese (2 1/2 cups)
1 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
2 1/2 oz pecorino Romano grated (3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp)
1 large egg white
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of fresh basil chopped
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage
1 tsp salt 
1 tsp pepper
1 15 oz can of tomato puree, organic
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes, organic

  1. Cook pasta shells according to package and drain. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Set aside to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together ricotta, pumpkin, 3/4 cup pecorino Romano, egg white,  garlic cloves, basil, sage, salt, and pepper.
  3. Combine both cans of tomatoes in a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1 1/2 tsp italian seasoning, and 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes. Simmer for 15 minutes. 
  4. While sauce is cooking preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Fill each pasta shell with about 3 tbsp of ricotta mixture and lay in sauce in a single layer . Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining pecorino Romano and bake an additional 15 minutes. Make stuffed shells a day ahead and place in an air tight container in the fridge if desired. 
  6. Enjoy!

From the Harvest Table,

This recipe was adapted from Country Living Magazine 10/2011

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