Pumpkin Prosciutto Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are often underrated and frequently over looked because people think they are too time consuming to make. On the contrary! I love making stuffed shells because the flavor combinations are endless and truth be told, I can have a batch in the oven in under 30 minutes. With fall just around the corner, I am craving all things pumpkin so I decided to stuff my shells with a blend of traditional ricotta and seasonal pumpkin pureé. To the mixture I added prosciutto and fontina cheese to enhance the fall flavor profile, along with fresh sage. To make this original recipe user friendly, I topped it off with jarred sauce, in this case a fall inspired “creamy harvest” blend by Trader Joe’s made with you guessed it… pumpkin! Enjoy!!

Ingredients: Feeds 4 – 6 people

  • 1, 12oz box large pasta shells (I like Barilla)
  • 4 oz prosciutto, cubed
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup prepared pumpkin purée
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 oz Fontina cheese, shredded
  • 2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped (about 3 large leaves)
  • pinch of each: salt, pepper, red pepper flake
  • 2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Creamy Harvest for this recipe)
  • parmesan cheese for garnish

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium sauté pan, over medium heat render the prosciutto until slightly crispy and onions are translucent, set aside to cool.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the ricotta, pumpkin and egg. Add the fontina and fresh sage. Fold in the prosciutto and onion. Season with spices.

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  4. Preheat oven to 375, drain pasta and rinse with cool water.
  5. Coat a casserole dish with a thin layer of tomato sauce. Use a soup spoon and fill each shell with approximately 2 tbsp of filling. Continue until shells and filling are used and dish is full.
  6. Top each stuffed shell with a dollop of sauce and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake covered for 40 minutes, remove foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

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