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When pasta is on sale, buy several boxes to keep in your pantry. This is an inexpensive comfort-food meal to prepare and one that comes together fairly quickly!
 

AIMEE'S PUMPKIN RICOTTA STUFFED SHELLS

Serves 4

  • 1 can pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1 box (12 ounces) jumbo pasta shells, cooked
  • 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
  • homemade Alfredo sauce, recipe below
  • extra sage and/or basil for topping

Preheat oven to 350. Cook jumbo pasta shells in lightly salted water; about 12-14 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, stir together all ingredients except for the pasta shells. If the mixture is too thick, use the reserved pasta water to thin it to your desired consistency. Spoon the pumpkin mixture into the shells. Grease a 9x9 casserole dish with cooking spray, then place shells into dish. Pour just enough Alfredo sauce on top of shells to coat the shells, then bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Top with more sage or basil, if desired. 
 

AIMEE'S HOMEMADE ALFREDO SAUCE

  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup heavy cream or half and half (evaporated milk may even be used)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • **optional, use 1 8-ounce package reduced fat cream cheese

In a large sauce pan, melt the butter and cook the garlic for about two minutes. (If using cream cheese, add it now, and stir to melt). Slowly pour in heavy cream (or half and half), cheese, pepper and nutmeg. Stir (and/or whisk) until all ingredients are combined. Once it begins to thicken, remove from heat and pour over shells or use in another recipe, i.e. with fettuccine. (If using with fettuccine, as sauce thickens, add cooked fettuccine to coat, then serve immediately).