1. BUTTERNUT SQUASH & SAUSAGE STUFFED SHELL
1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 onion, sliced
¾ cup milk
¾ cup vegetable broth
1 pound sausage
2 cups spinach
3 cloves garlic
1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente
15 ounces ricotta
¼ cup parmesan, shredded
Additional parmesan, shredded
Salt & pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Arrange onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 50-60 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat. When sausage is mostly browned, add spinach and garlic. Cook until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.
4. Place roasted butternut squash and onion in a food processor.
5. Pulse until a smooth puree forms. Allow to cool. Stir in milk and vegetable broth. Pour butternut squash sauce into base of a 9x13 baking dish.
6. In a large mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, parmesan, and egg. Add sausage and spinach into ricotta and stir until evenly distributed.
7. Fill cooked pasta shells with 3-4 tablespoons of filling. Arrange shells in butternut squash sauce in the 9x13 baking dish.
8. Bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil followed by 15 minutes uncovered. Top with additional parmesan.
2. ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BACON PASTA
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced (3 cups diced)
1/2 tsp. dried rosemary (or 1 1/2 tsp. fresh)
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 lb. bacon
1 cup shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
2 cups milk, warmed
8 oz. penne, shells, or macaroni
3/4 cup provolone, shredded
1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl toss squash and rosemary with olive oil to coat. Season with kosher salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Roast in preheated oven for 30-40 minutes, turning occasionally, until tender and golden.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain; set aside.
4. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Set aside to drain. Reserve 1 Tbsp. of bacon grease in the skillet. Crumble bacon once cooled.
5. Saute shallots and garlic in the reserved bacon grease over medium heat until tender. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Slowly whisk in the milk, 1/2 cup at a time, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thickened. Season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.
6. In a large bowl, toss to combine 3/4 of the roasted squash, the cooked pasta, 3/4 of the crumbled bacon, the sauce, and the Provolone and Parmesan (reserving some cheese to sprinkle on top). Pour into a lightly greased 9×9 baking dish. Top with the remaining bacon and squash. Sprinkle with the reserved cheese.
7. Bake in preheated 425 F oven for 10 minutes, until golden and bubbling. Let set several minutes before serving.
3. ONE POT ROASTED RED PEPPER AND SAUSAGE ALFREDO
¾ lb Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ cups milk, plus ¼ cup for the sauce
1½ cups chicken broth, plus ¼ cup for the sauce
1 (16 oz) jar roasted red peppers, drained and pureed (you can do this in a food processor or blender)
8 oz goat cheese
½ cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 handfuls fresh spinach
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
12 oz pasta of your choice
1. Remove the casing from the sausage and discard the casing. To do this, simply cut along the side of the sausage with a sharp knife and peel off the pierced casing with your fingers.
2. In a large pot or high-walled pan, saute the sausage meat with the garlic and olive oil over medium heat, until browned.
3. Stir in chicken broth, pureed roasted red pepper, milk and pasta. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked through, about 12 minutes. If the liquid has all been absorbed, add the additional milk and chicken broth.
4. Stir in spinach, 1 handful at a time, and cook until wilted and hot.
5. Stir in the goat cheese and parmesan. Continue to stir until melted. Remove from heat and serve.
4. ROAST PUMPKIN, HERB & WALNUT PASTA BAKE
2 cups pumpkin, peeled and cubed into bite-sized pieces
1 medium onion, halved then sliced medium thickness
3-5 cloves garlic, left whole in skins (to taste)
1 scant tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped finely
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 oz. bow tie pasta (or any short pasta of your choice)
Sea salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped (or more to taste)
3 heaped tablespoons chives, chopped
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped finely
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated coarsely
1 cup light cooking cream
2 tablespoons parmesan, grated finely
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Preheat oven to 400. Place baking paper over a large baking tray.
Place pumpkin, onion and garlic on the tray – I find it easier to set the garlic cloves aside in their own area.
Sprinkle over chopped rosemary then drizzle over olive oil and rub into vegetables – season with freshly ground sea salt and pepper.
Roast for 30-40 minutes, or until light golden brown and tender. Turn pan around half-way through if needed, to prevent burning. Remove vegetables from the oven and set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350.
Meanwhile, while vegetables are roasting, cook pasta in boiling, salted water for 11 minutes, or until al dente. Drain, reserve a few tablespoonfuls of pasta water.
Squeeze cooked garlic out of skins. Place near the other roast veggies.
Add penne to a large, shallow, ceramic baking dish. Add walnuts, herbs, cheddar cheese and cream. Add a 3-4 tablespoons of pasta water and mix through until combined. Gently fold in vegetables until everything is combined- grind black pepper over. Scatter over parmesan evenly then drizzle over extra virgin olive oil.
Bake for 25 minutes, or until hot, creamy and bubbling. Scatter over more freshly chopped chives before serving if you like.