Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Last week, I made these incredible sweet potato gnocchi (recipe coming soon) and had some left over ricotta that I did not know what to do with. I also had a butternut squash sitting around that I had to use. I never have ricotta, but I sure am glad I did this week because these butternut squash stuffed shells were amazing. To be completely honest, I have never made stuffed shells before. I grew up in an Italian house, so grandma would sometimes make them but I hadn't had them in years. For a first time stuffed shell maker, these were super easy and totally worth the slight mess I made trying to stuff the shells... they were so slippery!
1 cup cubed butternut squash
16 jumbo shells
salt and pepper
4 cups baby spinach
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/3 cup shredded parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with a small amount of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet until golden brown for about 20-25 minutes.
In a medium pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the spinach in increments with a pinch of salt. Sauté until all the spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and let cool.
While the spinach is cooling, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shells and cook until al dente (according to the box). Once finished cooking, drain and place shells in a medium bowl with a drizzle of olive oil. You want to make sure the shells don't stick while you prep the filling.
Mix the ricotta, parmesan, and spinach in a bowl. Place the shells in an oven safe dish or pan (approximately 11x7 inches). Fill each shell with a small spoonful of filling and a couple of pieces of the roasted butternut squash. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of the shells and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and serve.