Even though it’s still 90 degrees outside, I love fall flavors, so this week we had an autumn inspired pasta dish – butternut squash stuffed shells with lemon sage brown butter sauce.
I’ve actually made this recipe a few other times in the past – but the other times I actually made it with manicotti shells instead. I actually think I prefer the manicotti since it seems to hold the filling better – the shells are a bit messier. But either way, it tastes great.
Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells with Lemon Sage Brown Butter Sauce
(adapted from Proud Italian Cook)
Shells & Filling:
- 12 jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups butternut squash (I used prepared pre-cut squash which is easier, but you could peel & chop it yourself)
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 cup fresh spinach (or ¼ cup frozen chopped spinach thawed & squeezed dry)
- 1 egg
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 lemon – zest and juice
- Salt & pepper
- Grated parmesan cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 10 sage leaves
1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Toss squash in olive oil and arrange on baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta shells according to the directions on the package.
4. Remove the squash from the oven and allow to cool. Reset the oven to 400ºF.
5. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, parmesan, garlic, spinach, egg, cooled squash, and zest of 1 lemon. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Stuff the cooked shells with the cheese & squash mixture and arrange on a greased 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.
7. For the sauce, melt butter in a sauté pan until golden brown and bubbly. Add sage leaves and fry until slightly crispy.
8. Remove from heat and squeeze in juice of 1 lemon.
9. Remove the baked shells from the oven and spoon the sauce evenly over the pasta. Top with grated parmesan cheese. We enjoyed ours with red wine & caprese salad!