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Pumpkin & Sausage Pasta Pillows with Chardonnay Béchamel

Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4



  • 12-16 jumbo pasta shells*
  • 8-12 fresh sage leaves for garnish
  • 1 oz shaved Parmesan for topping


  • 1 cup pumpkin pureé about 1/2 of 15 oz can of pumpkin
  • 8 oz breakfast sausage hot or mild
  • 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan
  • 1 T chopped fresh sage leaves
  • dash of nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • Sauce
  • 2 T unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 1 cup half and half or milk
  • 1/4-1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup reserved pasta water
  • 1/4 cup shaved 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