Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffed Shells
We are seasonal cooks and eaters, and even more so this year as we joined a CSA. Since June, we've spent a portion of our Saturday mornings at one of the farmers' markets excitedly choosing that week's fruits and vegetables and crafting a dinner menu to incorporate them all. In the beginning, we selected strawberries, zucchini, spring onions, snap peas, and other spring items. As the weather has shifted, we have our choice of squash, greens, potatoes, and other root vegetables.
Recently, we opted for a butternut squash. We decided to pair it with some of the spinach we had picked while at the apple orchard along with some fall-like spices and a some sausage. The end result was a hearty fall dish that left us with full bellies and the sure feeling that fall had most definitely arrived.
This recipe makes two glass pans full of stuffed shells. I usually bake one pan and freeze the other pan before it gets baked.
What you'll need:
- 1 box of jumbo shells
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 pound of mild pork sausage
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup of chopped spinach
- 1 cup of ricotta
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon of ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
Preheat the over to 375 degrees. Place the butternut squash in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender. While the squash is cooking, bring water to boil in a large pot and cook the jumbo shells. In a frying pan, fry sausage and onion together until browned. Add the chopped spinach and stir for several minutes until it wilts.
When the squash is tender, drain any excess water, and transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Place the processed squash in a bowl and add the ricotta, cream, sage, and nutmeg. Mix thoroughly and stir in the sausage mixture. Using a spoon, fill each of the shells with the squash and sausage mixture and place them in a greased glass baking dish. Bake the shells for about 30-40 minutes or until slightly browned.
Are you a seasonal foods eater? What are some of your favorite fall recipes?