Sunday, February 12, 2012

Creamy Tomato & Pumpkin Pasta Shells

Today I am featuring a Squidoo Recipe lens from my good friend Rose.

I hope you will enjoy making this delicious pasta recipe.

Creamy Tomato & Pumpkin Pasta Shells
(gluten-free & vegan variations) + Bonus recipes

25 extra-large pasta shells (or gluten-free pasta) *
1.5 cups (12 oz) traditional ricotta (or kosher vegan substitute - see link after recipe)
2.5 cups (20 oz) canned pumpkin (not sweetened pie filling) divided into 1.5 cup and 1 cup portions
2 egg yolks (or vegan substitute in orange box)
2/3 cup (2 oz) grated Parmesan cheese (or vegan substitute)
1 tbsp. minced thyme leaves or 1 tsp. dried thyme
pinch of fresh ground nutmeg (gluten-free)
1 cup tomato sauce (gluten-free)
1 cup vegetable stock (preferably low-sodium & gluten-free)
pinches of salt & pepper

Ensure your oven racks are adjusted so that your pasta shells will bake in the center of your oven and then preheat to 350 F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and drop in pasta shells. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally (to prevent them from sticking). Drain and rinse with cold water. NOTE: Shells will still be firm.

In a med-large bowl, mix together: ricotta (or vegan substitute), 1.5 cups pumpkin, egg yolks, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan (or vegan substitute), thyme, nutmeg and pepper. Set aside.
NOTE: Can be made ahead of time, covered and refrigerated overnight.

In a med-large bowl, combine tomato sauce, 1 cup pumpkin & veg stock. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon a layer of sauce over the bottom of a lightly greased 9" x 13" baking pan.

Next, fill the pasta shells with a generous spoonful of pumpkin-ricotta filling. For ease, you can put this mixture into a ziploc bag (remove air and seal well), then cut a corner to squeeze mixture into shells - kids love doing this step.

Place filled shells in the baking pan (on top of the layer of sauce) and pour remaining sauce over all of the shells. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining Parmesan (or vegan substitute). Cover with foil and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes.


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