‘Tis the season for….Butternut squash! It is THE veg to be eating in September if you want seasonal, fresher than fresh beautiful veg (note I only use half in this recipe – the second half has been used for a second recipe which will be up ASAP). This is a good get-ahead meal, as once cooked, you can just stick a few in the microwave and have for an easy lunch or dinner in days to follow. I always find stuffed pasta very filling so one ‘batch’ of this will go far!
Based on a ‘Batch’ (serves 4 people, or 4 solitary meals)
About 20 conchiglioni (which is ever such fun to say – try it if you are as sad as I am…)
Half a bag of spinach
3 Tbsp Ricotta
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese
1/2 a Butternut Squash, Cubed
1 Red Pepper, finely diced
A sprinkle of Chilli Flakes
6 Cloves Garlic
1 Tin Chopped Tomatoes
A Splash of Balsamic
A pinch of Sugar
A pinch of Oregano
Salt and Pepper to Taste
Preheat your oven to 150 degrees. On a tray, place your cubed squash and pepper. Throw 4 garlic cloves in (don’t worry about faffing about with peeling them – you will discard them later on). Cover it all with a good lug of olive oil and a smattering of chilli flakes.
In a saucepan, on full heat, add a splash of water – just enough to cover the bottom – and throw in your spinach leaves, cover with a lid and leave for about a minute – they should wilt in this time.
In a mixing bowl, mix your ricotta and cream cheese together, crush your 2 remaining garlic cloves in, mix in the spinach and leave.
Cook the pasta shells in boiling water for about 10 mins. When they are done, drain and cover with cold water so that they are cool enough to handle.
In your roasting dish, empty your tomatoes, add a splash of balsamic, a pinch of sugar and season with salt and pepper. Using the tin the tomatoes were held in, fill with water and add this to the dish – this will help keep the pasta nice and hydrated when in the oven (most will evaporate off whilst cooking anyway so don’t worry about losing flavour).
After your veg is roasted (your squash should be nice and soft, this should take 30-40 mins), chuck out the garlic cloves and add to your spinach and cheese mixture and stir in. Crank the oven up to 200 degrees. Using a dessert spoon, fill each pasta shell with about a spoonful for each, placing on top of your tomatoes. Cook for about 15 minutes.
I didn’t, but if you want extra cheesiness, top with grated parmesan.