These Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells are the perfect meal to make during the week for enjoying leftovers, or to impress your friends at a dinner party!
There is something so comforting about pasta. Maybe it’s the memories of family meals it brings to my mind, or the therapeutic process of assembling it. I love it’s versatility, too. Oh, and shells? They might be one of the best kind… it’s basically a little pasta sandwich, am I right?
Friends, I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say this, this is my favorite pasta dish I’ve ever made.
Let’s just say the entire dish was gone in one night. Oops.
Have you ever combined pumpkin and pasta? It’s the greatest thing in the world. Seriously.
This was actually my first time combining the two – I’d done butternut squash before, but it’s certainly not the same. I love the savory combination of garlic, pumpkin, ricotta, and bold, fresh sage. The stuffing is so creamy and soft, and mixed with the acidity of the tomato sauce, it’s absolute nirvana.
To me, this is the perfect dish to make when you’ve got friends coming over for dinner. Or hey, maybe even for girls night to watch some Real Housewives (major guilty pleasure over here…). It’s such an easy, no fuss meal that it really gives you time to enjoy company, and have your company enjoy your food!
That’s something that I’ve always struggled with though, at least when I was in college. “What the heck do I make?!” would cross my mind when I would host friends for dinner.
My group of girlfriends in college would rotate houses every Tuesday for a group dinner. This was when I first began getting really into cooking, so I absolutely loved hosting my girls and treating them to some eats.
It was such a fun time, especially because we were such a diverse group of girls. The mix of cultures and backgrounds included Panamanian, Indian, Korean, and Italian/Cuban. Needless to say, us girls knew how to show each other some great meals!
Now that I’m older, and have grown my experience in the kitchen (and honed those skills), I become more and more excited to one day host neighbors and friends at my home for meals. I often dream about my future kitchen, the details it will encompass, and how it will be the hub of my home, just like our kitchen was growing up.
The first meal I will make for my first “adult” dinner party?
These Pumpkin Ricotta Stuffed Shells. No doubt.
- Jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups skim ricotta cheese
- 1 can pumpkin
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg white
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 1 jar marinara sauce (flavor of choice)
- Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set on a baking sheet. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine ricotta, pumpkin, ¼ cup Parmesan, garlic, egg white, chopped sage, salt, and pepper in a bowl and mix well.
- Pour marinara sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
- One-by-one, stuff shells with ricotta-pumpkin mixture and place them atop pasta sauce.
- Cover dish with foil, and place in the oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven. Sprinkle shells with remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.
- Set oven to broil. Place shells back in the oven and broil for 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
Join the conversation:
What is your go-to to serve family and friends?
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