Butternut Squash & Sausage Stuffed Shells

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Can you believe that it is the last week of October? Each week and month seems to go by faster than the next. Before you know it we will be celebrating the New Year and it will take me 2 months to get used to writing 2016 instead of 2015 on everything! Ok but I am getting ahead of myself! IMG_5664The fall weather has been gorgeous and I have been cooking all of my favorite fall recipes including Stew in a Pumpkin, which was the first recipe I posted on Ski Boots in the Kitchen three years ago last week! It’s hard to imagine it has been three years! It has been so much fun cooking and writing recipes and even more fun when I hear that you’ve been cooking my recipes. This year I am doing Thanksgiving dinner at our new house in Park City and I have already started to think about what I am going to make, stay tuned in the coming weeks for some fun Thanksgiving recipe ideas.

I came across this recipe for Butternut Squash and sausage stuffed shells and it sounded so good I had to try it. It was a delicious balance of fall flavors, spicy sausage, and creamy cheese. Enjoy!

Butternut Squash and Sausage Stuffed Shells (Serves 4-6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 pound jumbo shells, cooked al dente
  • 15 ounces ricotta
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, shredded
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • Additional parmesan, shredded
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange onion and butternut squash in an even layer on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Roast for 50-60 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook sausage over medium heat. When sausage is mostly browned, add spinach and garlic. Cook until spinach is wilted and remove from heat.
  3. Place roasted butternut squash and onion in a food processor or blender.
  4. Pulse until a smooth puree forms. Blend in milk and vegetable broth. Pour half of the butternut squash sauce into base of a 9×13 baking dish.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, stir together ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella and egg. Add sausage and spinach into ricotta and stir until evenly distributed. Fill cooked pasta shells with 3-4 tablespoons of filling.
  6. Arrange shells in butternut squash sauce in the 9×13 baking dish. Pour the rest of the butternut squash sauce over the top and bake for 30 minutes covered with aluminum foil followed by 15 minutes uncovered. Top with additional parmesan.
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Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout & Apple Stuffing

Happy Friday! Today is a very special day- not just because its Friday and the weekend is just a few hours away. Today is Ski Boots in the Kitchen’s 2nd Birthday!! Happy Birthday blog! I made you some delicious stuffing to celebrate! Thank you to everyone that has followed me, made my recipes and enjoy this journey with me, it’s been so much fun! In celebration of our 2nd birthday we have a super awesome, shiny and new Ski Boots in the Kitchen logo created by my amazing sista Anabelle McLean!SBITK_Logo I don’t know about you but I am excited for some fall activities this weekend! I went out and bought a couple pumpkins to carve and I am planning on making my favorite Stew in a Pumpkin which was my very first post on the blog two years ago! If you have not tried this stew, please stop what you are doing and get your yourself to a grocery store STAT and start cooking. It is the best fall recipe… possibly ever!

I thought you’d enjoy some of the wildlife I’ve been seeing around Park City lately. All the deer and moose are out trying to fatten up before winter and I am doing the same in my kitchen! I have already started to think about the holidays and delicious recipes to share with your family and friends this Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah! This recipe for stuffing is an awesome way to get all your veggies- butternut squash, apples and cranberries add the perfect sweetness, while the pecans give the stuffing a lovely crunch! This recipe is so tasty, it will definitely become a new family favorite! Hope you have a great weekend! Cheers!

Lasagna-Stuffed Spaghetti Squash Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout and Apple Stuffing (Click for printer friendly version)

(Serves 6-8)

Recipe from Food52

  • 1 pound butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 medium gala apple, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 10 slices bread of choice: crusty sourdough, dry cornbread, whole grain, or, if you are gluten free, millet bread will work nicely. Prior to preparing the recipe, leave bread out for a day to become slightly dry, then cut into cubes.
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth (plus extra as needed)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash, brussels sprouts, apples, and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper. Roast till vegetables are very tender and remove from oven. Reduce oven heat to 350.
  2. Heat other tbsp oil in a large pot. Saute the onion and celery till translucent (about 5-8 min). Add the bread cubes and allow them to get golden brown with the veggies in the oil. Add a dash of salt and pepper.
  3. Add the roasted vegetables, cranberries, pecans, and seasonings, gently toss to combine. Add the vegetable broth and stir the mix till the broth has almost entirely absorbed in the toasted bread. Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Serve hot.

Butternut Squash Minestrone

photo-484Happy New Year! I hope all of you had a happy and healthy holiday season. If you did as much celebrating, eating and drink as I did over the last few weeks you’re ready to start the new year on the healthy side! It’s easy to reach for comfort food when the weather is cold but there is no reason that comfort food can’t also be healthy!
Like this butternut squash minestrone! This soup can easily be made vegetarian by leaving out the pancetta and substituting vegetable broth for chicken broth. The butternut squash gives this soup a hearty and filling base while adding a touch of sweetness. Fresh spinach adds some color and leaves you feeling like you’ve eaten your greens for the day! Perfect for dinner, lunch or apres skiing snack, everyone will love this soup! Cheers!
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Ingredients:
  • Good olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, 1/2-inch-diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) carrots (3 carrots)
  • 2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) celery (3 stalks)
  • 2 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-diced) peeled butternut squash
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 (26-ounce) can or box diced tomatoes, such as Pomi
  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups cooked small pasta, such as tubetti
  • 8 to 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1/2 cup good dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons store-bought pesto
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
Directions:
  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook over medium-low heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned.
  2. Add the onions, carrots, celery, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables begin to soften.
  3. Add the tomatoes, 6 cups of the chicken stock, the bay leaf, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper to the pot. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Discard the bay leaf. Add the beans and cooked pasta and heat through. The soup should be quite thick but if it’s too thick, I add more chicken stock.
  5. Just before serving, add the spinach, and toss with 2 big spoons (like tossing a salad). Cook just until the leaves are wilted. Stir in the white wine and pesto. Depending on the saltiness of the chicken stock, add another teaspoon or two of salt to taste.
  6. Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil and serve hot with fresh bread.
Original recipe from Barefoot Contessa

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne

photo-155Ah Park City in the off season- beautiful blue skies, sunny crisp weather, snow capped mountains… and construction EVERYWHERE. I feel like the city votes that September through November will be the months they rip up every road, pipe and drain in the town, all at once and inconveniently detour you or make you wait in traffic. The only other place you can travel 1/2 a mile in 25 minutes is New York City during rush hour and the roundabout at Deer Valley.photo-153 photo-154The good news, you can go to the farmers market at the Canyons and buy a butternut squash the size of a small baby. Seriously, I bought one butternut squash and I was able to make three separate recipes with it: Soup, Pizza and Pasta! photo-359This recipe was adapted from my favorite little Italian chef, Giada. It’s actually quite genus and I wish I could say I came up with the technique. Pasta water and goat cheese combine to make a creamy and delicious sauce with little effort!photo-158The roasted squash and onions caramelize in the oven before they are tossed with the creamy penne and fresh basil. The last touch, toasted little pepitas that lend a lovely crunch. The original recipe called for walnuts but I much prefer the delicate flavor of the pumpkin seeds with this pasta.photo-156 I am always looking for tasty and filling vegetarian recipes to have on hand- vegetarian or not, this recipe is definitely one of my go-to, crowd pleasing pasta dishes! Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Penne (Serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 1 (2-pound) butternut peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 sweet onion, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) goat cheese- A large log is 11 oz I used the whole thing
  • 1 cup pepitas, toasted (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Finely grated Parmesan for garnish
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Chop onion and squash, mix together in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper to taste (just enough oil to lightly coat the squash 1-2Tbls.) Arrange in a single layer on a prepared baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil cooking spray. Bake for to 40 to 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the vegetables are golden and cooked through.  Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.
  3. While the squash mixture is cooling, bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add salt after the water boils then add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Reserve about 2 cups of the pasta water before draining the pasta. Put the pasta, goat cheese and 1 cup of pasta water in a large serving bowl. Toss until the cheese has melted and forms a creamy sauce.
  5. Add the squash and onion mixture, the pepitas and the basil. Toss well and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Garnish with Parmesan and serve.
Recipe adapted from Giada De Laurentiis