Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Pasta Shells Stuffed with Sausage, Spinach, Pumpkin and Ricotta

I had some pumpkin puree leftover from this delicious baking session, so I decided to try some stuffed shells and satisfy my carb craving.  These were easy and really tasty and I made them in side dishes which gave the dish a real restaurant feel.  This was comfort food kicked up a notch!

I started by boiling the shells, cooking the sausages and preheating the oven to 200°C.  I then slightly mixed about equal parts puree and ricotta cheese in a bowl, leaving chunks of cheese still intact, along with a handful of spinach.

Once the shells were cooked and the sausages fried, I sliced the sausages into small pieces and began to stuff.  There was no rhyme or reason, I just roughly divided the pumpkin,cheese and spinach mixture among the shells and stuffed each one with a piece of sausage (Uh oh...been watching too much Nigella).  Just before I started to assemble the pasta, I made a little tomato sauce by simply sauteing one finely chopped onion and adding a can of chopped tomatoes seasoned with some salt and pepper.  I let it simmer and then filled in around the shells with the finished sauce.  I grated a little Applewood Smoked Cheddar (my favourite cheese) on top, sprinkled a few pine nuts and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes.

I'd like to try some other combinations; a cheese blend, roasted vegetables, or a seafood version?  I had really wanted to try a goat's cheese combination but the supermarket was out.  I did find some the next day, however and I'll be sharing that pasta dish tomorrow.  This is turning into a week of pasta posts but it derived from a weekend of pasta eating - what can I say, I love pasta!  (and I love winter jumpers that hide the fact that I love pasta!)

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