Wednesday, January 6, 2010

stuffed shells with butternut squash and ricotta filling

1 large 3 pound butternut squash, halved, seeds and pulp removed
1 package of large pasta shells, cooked to package instructions
1 pound of ricotta cheese
1 pound of fresh mozzarella, sliced
2 small heads of red cabbage, shredded
2 small yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. Earth balance
salt and pepper to taste

Do this a day ahead if possible: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. On a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, place the squash face up. Rub with canola oil. Season with salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning. Place in oven uncovered and cook until completely cooked through, (should have a "mashed potato" kinda feel to it) about 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool, so that its easy to handle. Scrape the squash from the skin and set aside in a bowl. In this bowl, mix the ricotta cheese in with with cooked and cooled squash. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large saute' pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 Tbsp. of oil and sweat the onions until translucent, about 6-7 minutes. Add in the cabbage slowly while tossing, the cabbage will cook down fast, and allow more room in the pan quickly. Add salt and pepper throughout the cooking, since you want it to be well seasoned, but are still adding new food to the pan. Once all of the cabbage has been cooked, stir in the beans and set the pan to the side- do not drain the cabbage/onion liquid from the pan, you will need it later. (Sound familiar?)

In a large pyrex or casserole, put half of the cabbage and onion mixture on the bottom. Stuff the shells with the squash and ricotta filling and place them into the casserole dish. Top with the rest of the cabbage and onion mixture. Top with parmesan, breadcrumbs, and slices of fresh mozzarella. Cover the whole dish with a layer of parchment paper, and then foil, and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes covered, and then an additional 5 minutes uncovered. Pull it out of the oven and let it set for 4-5 minutes before gorging yourself on its deliciousness!

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful pics! This is a great idea for cabbage - I've been struggling to come up with interesting things to do with it, we've been getting so much from the weekly CSA delivery. Thanks for the idea!