Pinspiration: Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

Pinspiration: Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells“When I saw this recipe I hesitated at first,” the Runs With Spatulas blog shared. “It’s outside my comfort zone. It didn’t have a red sauce or white sauce and for goodness sakes its filling is primarily a vegetable! But the combination of the flavors sounded too good to pass up.” It truly must have been too good to pass up, because I had essentially the same thought process when I came across this adventurous recipe idea on Pinterest. It sounded good, but a perhaps beyond my abilities.

Don’t fret! Instead, follow my lead.

For an easy yet epicurean endeavor, my lazy way was a huge treat.

Check out the RWS blog for the full recipe, but since it’s a little complex, for our purposes I’m just going to share my hacks. First, I decided against a brown butter sauce. The main two reasons: difficulty and way too high of a Paula Deen factor for my taste. This recipe already takes notoriously carb-loaded pasta and fills it with rich sauteed squash and creamy goat cheese. Why drizzle it in fat? I love that our blogger was willing to up the gourmet ante and conquer the challenge of a brown butter sauce and maybe I’d include it if I were entertaining guests, but for a solo meal I couldn’t wrap my head around the extra time and unnecessary indulgence.  The same theory applies to the squash, I used a package of the frozen stuff I had in the freezer rather than the real thing. The filling was super easy to prep and I even pooled a little extra in the pan for my shells.

Basically, I boiled the shells according to the package, stuffed ’em with the seasoned cooked squash, topped ’em with goat cheese and some (store bought) candied walnuts. I baked ’em as directed, and ate ’em. Ta-da!

My version absolutely did not suffer from those few alterations. This dish turned out hearty without being heavy, and felt decadent without a ton of drudgery. I loved the unexpected satisfaction of these simple vegetarian shells. I’m sure the legit version will make a luxurious accompaniment to a sumptuous supper, but for an easy yet epicurean endeavor, my lazy way was a huge treat. — Casandra Armour

Check out Runs With Spatulas for more things to make. From culinary projects to crafts, she’s got you covered.

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