Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shell Bolognese Bake
The perfect warming dinner to cozy-up to and welcome the start of autumn!
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish or a dish of similar size.2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook 3-5 minutes. Add the meat, garlic, oregano, fennel, paprika, red pepper flakes, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the marinara and wine. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions.4. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, fontina, blue cheese (if using), sage, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper. 5. To assemble, spoon 3/4 of the Bolognese sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Working with one pasta shell at a time, spoon about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin cheese mix into each shell, placing the filled shell into the baking dish as you go. Spoon the remaining Bolognese sauce over top of the shells. Add the provolone. 6. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned on top. Serve topped with fresh oregano.
To Make Vegetarian: no problem, just omit the meat. No other changes needed.
To Make Ahead: complete the recipe through step 5. Let cool, and store in the fridge until ready to serve!