This honestly might be one of my favourite recipes to date. I will say that there were a few steps involved in this dish, but the result was worth it, in my opinion. I did make it a touch easier for me though because I used canned pumpkin (1 cup) instead of roasting and mashing my own butternut squash. The flavour was the same, my ricotta mixture just ended up being orange, but I guess you could say it was festive for halloween haha.
Also regarding the filling, I added about 1/4 cup of chopped basil to that mixture for more freshness and flavour. Just a side note: it’s important to taste the filling for seasoning before you stuff the shells, BUT you have to make sure you do that BEFORE adding the egg to the mixture. I ended up needing more salt, pepper and nutmeg, so it was good that I thought ahead.
Now for that alfredo sauce. It was soo good. The lemon zest added this brightness and really lightened it up. I like that the sauce really isn’t that unhealthy though because it uses 5% cream as opposed to 35%. That was a big reduction in fat. I think using heavy whipping cream in sauces is so unnecessary anyways.
After I had my filling and sauce ready, and pasta shells boiled, I was ready to assemble. I filled one dish with about 15 shells and I still had a lot of extra of each component. I decided to turn the remainder of the alfredo sauce into a rose by adding some tomato passata, and then I added some more pumpkin, ricotta and seasoning to the filling. From that, I filled another dish with 15 shells. So I was able to get basically 2 meals from this one dish – 2nd one not pictured – even though the sauce was different. That was a success in my book.
Random comment: apparently yesterday was national pasta day and today is national pumpkin day so I’m glad I could celebrate both with this recipe!
Final thoughts: you should definitely make this recipe.. if you have the time and patience to do so