Unstuffed shells give you the flavor of stuffed shells without all the fuss
Making stuffed shells is a tedious process. On a busy weeknight, no one has time to meticulously stuff each and every individual par-boiled pasta shell. Do yourself a favor and try this recipe for unstuffed shells instead. You’ll thank us later, for time saved and a tummy satisfied.
The base of the dish features butternut squash, leeks, and garlic, while a touch of white wine and heavy cream add a luxurious decadence. Rather than “stuffing” the shells, you’ll simply dollop the dish with cheese before baking until bubbly and golden.
Unstuffed Shells with Butternut Squash and Leeks
Serves 4 to 6
Notes: You can substitute large or medium shells, ziti, farfalle, campanelle, or orecchiette for the jumbo shells here. The skillet will be very full when you add the shells in Step 3 (stir gently to start), but will become more manageable as the liquid evaporates and the shells become more malleable. You will need a 12-inch oven-safe nonstick skillet for this recipe.
8 ounces (1 cup) whole-milk ricotta cheese
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (1 cup)
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt and pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil