1cuppumpkin pureéabout 1/2 of 15 oz can of pumpkin
8ozbreakfast sausagehot or mild
1Tchopped fresh sage leaves
dash of nutmeg
salt & pepper
1cuphalf and halfor milk
1/4-1/2cupwhite wine or chicken broth
1/4cupreserved pasta water
1/4cupshaved or shredded Parmesan
salt & pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta shells and stir. Cover and turn off heat, leaving pot on the hot burner.
Brown sausage in skillet, crumbling while browning, and remove to paper towels to drain.
Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Fry sage leaves in melted butter or in sausage drippings in skillet and remove to paper towels to drain.
Add flour to melted butter in saucepan and stir. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute or until brown and incorporated. Add milk, cook and stir, using a whisk to get ride of lumps. Add wine or broth to thin sauce. Add reserved pasta water if needed until sauce is desired consistency. The sauce should be thick, but pourable. Add cheese and stir. Set sauce aside.
Combine pumpkin puree with sausage, egg, Parmesan, nutmeg, chopped sage in a mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and mix evenly.
Grease a 1 quart, or small baking dish and spread about 1/2 of the sauce over bottom
Drain pasta, separate shells and let cool slightly. Fill shells with pumpkin mixture and place tightly together in baking dish on top of sauce layer. Cover with remaining sauce and top with a sprinkle of Parmesan. Cover and refrigerate until baking.
Bake uncovered for 30-60 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Baking time will depend on whether the dish was refrigerated prior to baking or baked directly after assembly
Garnish with fried sage leaves.
Makes 4 large servings
*NOTE: pasta shells expand after cooking
Keyword Chardonnay Bechamel sauce, fall casserole, fried sage, pasta casserole, pumpkin and sausage pasta, pumpkin stuffed shells