Saturday, February 9, 2013

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

I'm taking a hiatus from absence to post a new recipe! Life has just been nuts here, and on top of the normal chaos of having 3 kids six and under, my oven has been broken since early-November! I know!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, that explains my lack of new recipes!

Regardless, my new oven was installed yesterday!

Umm, pretty fabulous right? I'm actually pretty stoked our old one broke. The price of a new double oven is heart attack worthy. I ended up with $1,500 from our home owner's warranty towards the new one, and I'm SO thankful! I would have just diiiiiiiiiiiiiiied if we had to pay 100% out of pocket for a new one here in a few months!

So anyway, I had to make a new recipe in my new oven today! I've been in a major rut, but I forced myself to branch out. I had butternut squash ravioli on a business trip over the summer, and it was AMAZING! I decided to give these shells a whirl, and they were pretty darn good. Here is my adapted recipe,


20 jumbo shells

for filling,

2 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash (I used the pre-cut steam in bag kind from the produce section)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons cream cheese
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

for bechamel,

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used 2%)
1 cup of Parmesan (I was winging it here. The original recipe didn't mention how much or what kind!)
1/4 pinch of nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste

for topping,

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mozzarella cheese

1. To begin with, steam butternut squash. (I did mine in the microwave. It took forever, and was never as soft as I would have liked!)

2. While your butternut squash is steaming, prepare your shells as directed on the box.

3. Once the squash is very soft and while it is still hot, whip with a hand mixer. Then, mix in the butter, cheeses and spices.

3. Prepare your bechamel by starting with melted butter. You can let it brown a little, then stir in 2 tbs of flour. Once this has warmed through, stir in 2 cups of milk. As soon as the milk is hot, melt in your cheese and stir in the spices. Coat the bottom of your baking dish with a thin layer of sauce.

4. Once your noodles and squash have cooled a little, fill each shell with the butternut squash mixture and place in your baking dish. Then, you can top with the remaining bechamel and cheese.

5. Bake at 400 degrees until the cheese is brown and bubbly