Pumpkin Alfredo with Stuffed Shells

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Ingredients:

    12 ounces of pasta (about 26 jumbo shells)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, minced
  • 3 fresh sage leaves, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

Ingredients for the Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
  • 2 to 3 fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water and set it aside (we’re going to use it with the sauce later on). Drain the pasta and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil (this will ensure the pasta doesn’t stick). Set aside.
  2. Preheat the one to 375 degrees F. To a small bowl, whisk together the ricotta, mozzarella, egg, minced basil and sage, garlic, salt and crushed red pepper.
  3. In a medium saucepan, set over medium heat. Cook the butter, stirring constantly, until it begins to foam and brown speckles appear. Keep stirring until the foam subsides and the color turns medium brown. Add the shallots and garlic clove and turn down the heat to medium­low. Cook until the shallots have softened, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin, sprigs of sage, yogurt, Parmesan and 1/2 to 3/4 cup reserved pasta water. The sauce should be sauce­y! It will thicken as it bakes with the shells so feel free to add a bit more pasta water, if needed.
  5. Stuff each shell with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture and arrange in a 2 3/4-Qt braiser or 13×9 inch casserole dish. Pour the sauce around the shells and cover with a sheet of foil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes.

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