Does the perfect autumn pasta exist? I think so, and here it is. Wild mushroom pumpkin stuffed shells make for an amazing autumn-inspired meal. These scrumptious pasta shells are stuffed with savoury wild mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, and crunchy walnuts. Then they are baked in a delicious pumpkin sauce until the cheese gets nice and melty.
A dusting of freshly grated nutmeg perfectly compliments the umami and nutty flavours of this dish. Those deep pockets of stuffed pasta are divine to cut into. And it's really quite a cinch to throw together.
For this recipe, you can use whichever edible wild mushrooms you prefer. I found these beautiful chanterelles and oyster mushrooms at the market.
We are going to stuff the shells with two kinds of cheeses. Ricotta - a soft and creamy Italian cheese that is excellent for stuffing pastas. And Gruyère - a sweet, nutty, and slightly salty cheese from Gruyères, Switzerland. It adds a nutty creaminess that is just perfect for these pumpkin stuffed shells.
Both of these cheeses are fairly easy to find. However, the best substitutes for Gruyère are Emmental, Beaufort, Jarlsberg, Raclette, or Comté. Comté is the French equivalent of Gruyère cheese. If you don't have access to any of these, mozzarella cheese (though not quite the same) would also be delicious in this recipe.
how to make wild mushroom pumpkin stuffed shells
Preheat your oven to 350° and grease a 9"x13" baking dish. Prep the vegetables by chopping the mushrooms, dicing the onion, and mincing the cloves of garlic. Also, grate the Gruyère cheese.
In a large pot, cook the jumbo pasta shells in salted water according to package directions. It doesn't hurt to cook a couple extra in case some get damaged. Once cooked, drain the shells, toss them in some olive oil, and set them aside for now.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then sauté the diced onion until it softens.
Reduce the heat to medium-low. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic, walnut pieces, and red pepper flakes. Season with some salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and tender.
Add in the ricotta and half of the Gruyère cheese. Stir them into the mushroom mixture until the cheeses have melted. Taste test and season with additional salt and pepper as desired.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, milk, chicken stock, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and some freshly grated nutmeg. (You can replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock for a vegetarian option.) Take a quarter cup of this sauce and mix it into the mushroom-cheese mixture.
putting it together
Use half of the remaining pumpkin sauce to cover the bottom of the greased baking dish.
Stuff each of the shells and place them into the baking dish. I placed mine into two rows to support each other so that the shells wouldn't tip over.
Spoon the remaining pumpkin sauce on top of the stuffed shells.
Now it is time to bake your wild mushroom pumpkin stuffed shells. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for twenty minutes.
After twenty minutes, remove the tin foil cover. Use the other half of the Gruyère cheese and sprinkle it on top of the shells. Bake it, uncovered, for an additional ten minutes.
The cheese will melt and your scrumptious wild mushroom pumpkin stuffed shells will be ready to eat.
To serve, spoon some of the baked pumpkin sauce onto your serving plates. Place the shells on top, being careful to not mess up that beautiful melted cheese. Top them off with some freshly grated nutmeg.
This perfect autumn meal just needs the perfect autumn dessert. Try my popular and delicious pumpkin cookies with maple butter glaze. They do not disappoint!Print
This scrumptious pasta features shells stuffed with wild mushrooms, Gruyère cheese, and crunchy walnuts, baked in a delicious pumpkin sauce. The perfect autumn pasta.
12 jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup (26 g) onion, diced
8 ounces (227 g) wild mushrooms, chopped *
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup (30 g) walnuts, chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (or more, to taste)
1 cup (100 g) Gruyère cheese, shredded and divided **
¾ cup (188 g) ricotta cheese
1 cup (225 g) pumpkin purée
½ cup (118 ml) milk
½ cup (118 ml) chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
salt and pepper
freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9"x13" baking dish.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Once cooked, strain, toss in some olive oil, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion until softened.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add in mushrooms, garlic, walnut pieces, and red pepper flakes. Season with some salt and pepper, and sauté until the mushrooms are cooked and tender.
Add in ricotta and ½ cup of grated Gruyère, stirring until cheeses have melted. Taste test and adjust seasoning to your preference.
In a medium bowl, whisk together pumpkin purée, milk, chicken stock, brown sugar, ¼ tsp salt, ⅛ tsp black pepper, and a bit of freshly ground nutmeg. Take ¼ cup of this sauce and mix it into the mushroom mixture.
Use half of remaining pumpkin sauce to cover the bottom of the greased baking dish. Stuff the shells with the mushroom mixture and place them into the baking dish. Prop them against each other to prevent them from tipping over. Spoon the remaining pumpkin sauce on top of the stuffed shells.
Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and sprinkle the shells with the other ½ cup grated Gruyère cheese. Bake, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
Serve dusted with more freshly grated nutmeg.
* Any variety of edible wild mushrooms can be used for this recipe - chanterelles, morels, shiitake, oyster, etc. I used chanterelles and oyster mushrooms.
** Gruyère cheese is fairly easy to find. However, if you had to use something else, the best substitutes are Emmental, Beaufort, Jarlsberg, Raclette, or Comté. Comté is the French equivalent of the Swiss Gruyère. Mozzarella (though not the same) would also taste good in this recipe.
Keywords: pumpkin stuffed shells