My Roasted Pumpkin, Ricotta and Sage Pasta Shells are a delicious make-ahead meal!
When entertaining, it is important to be as organised as possible. This makes your role as a host much more relaxed. As such, meal preparation really is key. Dishes prepared in advance mean you won’t be spending half the time in the kitchen, missing out on having fun with your guests.
My friend Nicolas from Blogtastic Food invited me to join
As you would know, I love to host dinner parties.
I have always loved cooking for my family and friends. I get such pleasure from it. In my opinion, nothing beats good company, conversation, delicious food and a couple of glasses of wine!
I love to serve my Pumpkin, Ricotta and Sage Pasta Shells at dinner parties. Much like my Spinach and Ricotta Shells or Eggplant Involtini, this is a wonderful dish to prepare in advance, and pop into the oven when your friends arrive. Serve with a salad and some bread and you have the ideal meal.
To prepare these delicious Pasta Shells is very simple –
The pasta shells are cooked until they are very al-dente. In other words, slightly undercooked, as they will cook further in the oven.
I roast some pumpkin for a delicious, caramelised flavour. Once the flesh is deliciously tender, I mash with ricotta, fresh sage, parmesan cheese and nutmeg. I fill the shells with the pumpkin and ricotta mixture and prepare a garlic cream sauce to top.
The shells are baked until deliciously golden. They’re ideal served with a green salad and some crusty bread.
Enjoy, and do let me know in the comments below when you try this recipe!
Pumpkin, Ricotta and Sage Pasta Shells
- 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 500 g pumpkin peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 500 g ricotta full fat
- 2 tbsp fresh sage finely chopped
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg freshly grated
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese reserve 1/4 cup for sprinkling on top
- salt and pepper to taste
- 26 large pasta shells can use gluten-free if required
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/4 cup flour use gluten-free if required
- 2 cups milk
- 5 cloves garlic peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil.
Add the pasta shells and stir well. I cook them for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, but times differ between brands. When I use gluten-free shells they take about 5 minutes. Don’t be guided by the cooking time on the packet; the shells must be slightly undercooked as they will finish cooking when heated in the oven.
- Drain the shells well and spread them out, concave side down, on a clean tea towel to prevent them from cooking further and ensure all water drains off.
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C (350 F).Peel the pumpkin, and chop into 1-inch cubes.
Toss in a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
- Roast until the pumpkin flesh is tender and slightly caramelised – this will take 25 minutes approximately.
- Remove the pumpkin and mash with a fork until it is smooth.
- To the pumpkin puree, add the ricotta, fresh sage, parmesan cheese and nutmeg.
- Combine the mixture well, and season with salt and pepper.
Garlic Cream Sauce
- Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped garlic, and stir frequently for 2 minutes. Add the flour, and allow it to cook for about 1 minute, being sure to whisk or stir frequently.
- Add in half of the milk, whisking constantly for 1 minute. Add the remainder of the milk and whisk for 1 minute.Add your Parmesan and salt and pepper. Cook until the mixture thickens. If it thickens too much, add a little additional milk.
Assembling the Shells
- Preheat oven to 180 Degrees C (350 F).
- Put 1/3 cup of the garlic cream sauce in the base of a large ovenproof dish. Using a dessert spoon, fill the pasta shells with the pumpkin and ricotta mixture, and place in the ovenproof dish.
- Drizzle the remainder of the garlic cream sauce over the pasta shells. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- To prevent the shells from burning, cover with foil for the first 30 minutes that they’re in the oven. Remove the foil and bake uncovered for the final 10 minutes. With the tip of a sharp knife, check that the pasta is completely cooked.Sprinkle with additional fresh sage prior to serving if you wish.
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