These Pumpkin Chorizo Stuffed Shells are creamy, cheesy and just a little bit spicy. Stuffed with a blend of ricotta and queso fresco and topped with white AND yellow cheddar cheese. Serves 3.
Course: Main Course
Author: Kari Cooks
¼tbspground black pepper
½lbground chorizo (Mexican)
4ozpumpkin pureenot pumpkin pie filling
½cuphalf and half
½jarpiquillo peppersroasted or grilled
3ozmild yellow cheddar
3ozsharp white cheddar
salt and pepperto taste
fresh cilantro to garnishoptional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place a large pot filled two-thirds full of salted water (1 tablespoon salt) on the burner set to high heat.
While the water is for the shells is heating, in a medium size bowl, mix the ricotta, queso fresco, salt, pepper and paprika. Set aside.
Once you have mixed the filling, the pasta water should be boiling. Add shells to pot and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions (this will probably be somewhere between 7-10 minutes).
Pumpkin Chorizo Sauce
While the shells are boiling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chorizo, breaking up with a spatula or wooden spoon. Cook for 5 minutes.
Reduce the heat on the skillet to medium, then add the minced garlic, pumpkin puree, half and half, unsalted butter and piquillo peppers. Stir until well combined. Add salt and pepper to taste and reduce heat to low.
Test the shells to see if they are cooked (you want then all dente (firm). Remove from heat and drain into a colander or pasta strainer. Let cool.
Stir the pumpkin chorizo sauce. Next, grate the yellow cheddar and white cheddar cheese, and set aside. Stir the sauce again. If the sauce looks too thick, add 1-2 tablespoons of half and half, or water. Turn off heat.
Assemble, Bake and Serve
If you cooked the sauce in a cast iron skillet or other oven-safe skillet, you can leave the sauce in the skillet. If not, pour the sauce into an oven-safe baking dish.
To stuff the shells: With a spoon, gently spread the ricotta and queso fresco filling into each shell, placing each stuffed shell into the dish with the sauce.
Sprinkle the shredded yellow and white cheddar cheese evenly over the shells. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted and top is slightly brown.
Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro (optional). Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 3 days.