Flavors of Fall: Squash and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

Acorn squash and ricotta stuffed shells

Every September I can tell when autumn is on its way because my friend Jenna is on Pinterest constantly. After months of being pin-free she’ll suddenly show up in my feed, pinning anything and everything that has to do with Halloween crafts, autumn foods and yes, even Christmas cookies.

I’d give her a harder time about it, but I am a year-round Pinterest user. There is not a month that goes by that I am not pinning pumpkin-spice treats, summer BBQ ideas or yet another macaroni and cheese recipe. One such pin, from early this spring, was a dish that I have been determined to make the second the weather turned cold:  jumbo pasta shells, stuffed with ricotta cheese, spinach and roasted squash, topped with sage and brown butter.

From the cheesy baked pasta to the brown butter sauce, it’s practically impossible to come up with a more “autumn” dish. (Unless you’re the guy who wrote this — I’m sure he could come up with something.)

And let me tell you, with every bite I found myself missing the sunshine a little less and looking forward to Halloween, roasted chicken and cuddling on my couch with my kitties. The squash adds the right hint of the season without being too sweet, the lemon zest brings some brightness and the copious amounts of cheese are there just to make you feel loved.

So if you’re still having a hard time adjusting to the fact that it’s almost October, you should make this very soon. I promise it will help!

Here’s a link to the original recipe and here are the changes I made: I used an acorn squash instead of a butternut and I subbed blanched kale instead of the spinach — I like the texture better when cooked. I also added a half a roasted onion, finely chopped, for extra oomph.

Here’s some pictures of the process to help inspire!

Start with the filling:

Filling: Combination of ricotta cheese, roasted squash, minced garlic, roasted onions and pecorino

The filling includes ricotta cheese, roasted squash, lemon zest and blanched kale.

Cook 20-25 each jumbo shells to al dente and then and stuff them:



Place them in a greased pan and bake at 400 degrees:

Acorn squash and ricotta stuffed shells

Once they are hot all the way through (20 minutes or so), make the sauce:

Fried sage and brown butter

Brown butter, fried sage and lemon juice

Top with sauce:

Acorn squash and ricotta stuffed shells

And enjoy!

Acorn squash and ricotta stuffed shells

Acorn squash and ricotta stuffed shells

14 thoughts on “Flavors of Fall: Squash and Ricotta Stuffed Shells

  1. Yum! Though I’m in denial re: fall’s arrival. Eighty degrees forecasted for tomorrow (9/30) and remember I’m in Minnesota. We have a blink of a fall and then it’s all downhill to winter (so not a fan). So while I enjoy your post and recipe and photos, I will make no claim to accepting that summer might possibly be over. Nope. No way. Not here and not me. 😉

    • Somehow I missed replying to this one — so I’m curious is it still warm? We are having a streak of 70-ish degree weather but I’m not expecting it to last long. It’s pretty chilly in the morning, but it’s not super cold yet. (hope that didn’t jinx me!) I am not a winter person by any means, but I do love fall. =)

  2. Was great! but in my haste I didn’t blanch the kale, and I think it makes a difference 😦 Also, I added some salt and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Felt right? was delicious 🙂

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