This scrumptious pasta features shells stuffed with wild mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, and crunchy walnuts, baked in a delicious pumpkin sauce. The perfect autumn pasta.
12 jumbo pasta shells
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup onion, diced
8 oz wild mushrooms, chopped *
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1 cup Gruyère cheese, divided **
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup pumpkin purée
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian)
1 tsp brown sugar
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″x13″ baking dish.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, strain, toss in some olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in mushrooms, garlic, walnut pieces, and red pepper flakes. Season with some salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and tender.
Add in ricotta and 1/2 cup of grated Gruyère, stirring until cheeses have melted. Taste test and adjust seasoning to your preference.
In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, milk, chicken stock, brown sugar, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper, and a bit of freshly ground nutmeg. Take 1/4 cup of this sauce and mix it into the mushroom mixture.
Use half of remaining pumpkin sauce to cover the bottom of the greased baking dish. Stuff the shells with the mushroom mixture and place them into the baking dish. Prop them against each other to prevent them from tipping over. Spoon the remaining pumpkin sauce on top of the stuffed shells.
Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the shells with the other 1/2 cup grated Gruyère cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Serve dusted with more freshly grated nutmeg.
* Any variety of edible wild mushrooms can be used for this recipe – chanterelles, morels, shiitake, oyster, etc. I used chanterelles and oyster mushrooms.
** Gruyère cheese is fairly easy to find. However, if you had to use something else, the best substitutes are Emmental, Beaufort, Jarlsberg, Raclette, or Comté. Comté is the French equivalent of the Swiss Gruyère. Mozzarella (though not the same) would also taste good in this recipe.
Keywords: pumpkin stuffed shells