Looking for a flavorful recipe to take you from winter to spring? Or perhaps a new Meatless Monday option for your recipe rolodex? This sweet and savory dish is vegetarian and packs a hearty punch with ingredients like butternut squash and creamy burrata cheese.
For those unfamiliar with burrata, this delectable cheese is similar to its well-known cousin mozzarella, but really ups the ante: taking mozzarella that’s formed into a pouch, then filling it with rich curds and cream. In this dish, burrata acts as a sauce of sorts, smothering the stuffed shells with goodness.
This is going to be your favorite new dish to feed a hungry crowd. Just add a crisp salad, loaf of crusty artisan bread, and your favorite Chardonnay from Oregon or Washington for a delicious late-winter dinner.
Yield: 4-6 Servings
- 1 medium (1¾ to 2 lb) butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1¼ cup whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 cup plus ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 large garlic clove, smashed and finely chopped
- 3 tbsp chopped Italian parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (juice from ½ a lemon)
- 2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
- Small pinch ground nutmeg
- Two 8 oz. containers Burrata cheese balls
- 12 oz jumbo pasta shells
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 9×13 inch glass baking dish with olive oil. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Season the inside flesh of the butternut squash with the olive oil and ½ tsp of the Kosher salt.
- Place the squash on the sheet pan, cut side down.
- Roast until tender 35-40 minutes, or until a sharp knife is easily inserted. Remove squash from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes or until cool to the touch.
- While the squash is roasting, add the jumbo shells to the boiling water and cook until just al dente, about 9 minutes.
- Drain the cooked pasta shells and rinse with cold water for 1-2 minutes. Set aside for stuffing.
- Reduce oven to 375 degrees F.
- Scoop the cooled butternut squash flesh into a large bowl and add the remaining salt, ricotta cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, egg, garlic, parsley, lemon juice, lemon zest, fresh thyme and ground nutmeg.
- Mix with a spoon until well-combined. Taste and adjust with salt if needed.
- Fill each pasta shell with 1½-2 tbsp of the filling. Place shells in oiled baking dish. If there is remaining filling, just add a small amount to each pasta shell.
- Break the Burrata Balls evenly over the shells, allowing the curds and cream to fall around the shells.
- Place in oven and bake until golden brown and bubbling, about 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese.
- Serve with a green salad and crusty country-style bread like ciabatta.
Hoping to plan ahead? You can make this recipe through the step of preparing the squash mix for stuffing, and store it in the refrigerator for one day.