Bret and I had some butternut squash that we still needed to use and wanted to try something a little different. Stuffing shells with butternut squash is lighter version of traditional stuff shells, but still has the feeling of comfort food. If you don’t have butternut squash, no problem! This recipe would be great with other types of squash as well. One way to save time with this recipe is to roast the squash ahead of time and keep in the fridge until ready to use.
For Shell Filling:
- 20 jumbo shells
- 2 1/2 cups of cubed squash
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
- 1 tablespoon Parmasean cheese
For Bechamel Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese
- 10-15 sage leaves
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place squash on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Roast the squash for 20 minutes, then flip. Continue roasting for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove squash from the oven and mash with a potato masher until almost pureed. Set aside.
- Boil water and cook shells as directed. Once cooked, drain and set aside to cool.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a small saucepan over medium heat add the butter, garlic, and shallots. Whisk until butter starts to brown.
- Add the browned butter mixture to the squash puree. Mix in the the mascarpone and parmesan cheese until combined.
- Grease a baking pan or pie dish. Scoop about 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of squash into each shell and place in baking dish.
- To make the bechemal sauce, heat a saucepan over medium heat and add the butter.
- Once sizzling, whisk in the flour and cook until it turns golden brown and has a nutty aroma.
- Add the milk and parmesan cheese and let it come to a simmer, stirring constantly.
- Once the sauce has thickened, stir in salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.
- Pour the sauce over the shells.
- Sprinkle mozzarella cheese and sage leaves over the top.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly.
Original recipe by Jessica at How Sweets Eat.