ROASTED SQUASH STUFFED SHELLS WITH A SHALLOT-SAGE JUS

This pasta is so good. Like put-your-fork-down-and-savor-every-bite good. The combination of butternut squash and pears is pure perfection but, really, it’s all about the caramelized shallot-sage jus. There’s really nothing as good as fresh sage. While it’s commonly thought of as a fall flavor (hello, Thanksgiving), its brightness also accentuates springtime so well.

roasted butternut squash stuffed shells with caramelized shallots

Roasted Squash Stuffed Shells with a Shallot-Sage Jus

Serves 4-6

1 large butternut squash, diced
2 pears, diced
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 1/2 tsp sea salt, divided
1 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper, divided
1 tsp dried granulated garlic
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 shallot, minced
2 cups vegetable stock, divided
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh sage, minced
1/3 cup + 2 tbsp grated parmesan (omit if vegan)
6 oz box jumbo shells

Preheat the oven to 400 F degrees. On a baking sheet, toss the squash with 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, granulated garlic, dried parsley and dried oregano. Roast until very tender, about 30-40 minutes. On a separate baking sheet, toss pears with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper. Roast until very tender, about 10-15 minutes. After the squash and pears are roasted, turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Blend the squash and pears in a food processor until creamy. Stir in 1/3 cup parmesan. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1/2 tbsp olive oil, then the shallots and 1/2 tsp salt. Saute, stirring often. Add about 1/2 cup stock and cook until shallots are dry. Add minced garlic and cook for 5 minutes, adding another 1/2 cup stock as needed and when the skillet is again dry. Add sage and cook for another few minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 more cup of stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and let the mixture cook for about 3 minutes. Turn off heat. (The sauce should be soupy.) Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and cook the shells according to the packaged instructions. Be sure to not overcook. Drain shells and set aside. Drizzle some olive oil and 1 tbsp shallot-sage sauce on the bottom of a glass baking dish. Stuff the cooked shells with the squash/pears mixture. Pour the rest of the shallot-sage sauce as well as 2 tbsp parmesan on top of the shells. Bake for 30 minutes, until the cheese melts and browns a bit.  

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