Pumpkin alla Vodka Stuffed Shells

Serving Size: 2-3
Prep Time:  10 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour, 10 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour, 20 Minutes


1/2 lb. Pappardelle's Plain Jumbo Shells
16 oz. whole milk ricotta
1 egg
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2-1/2 cup shredded whole-milk mozzarella cheese
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
3 Tbsp. salted butter
8-10 fresh sage leaves
2 shallots, finely minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup vodka
1 cup heavy cream
Salt & pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10-12 minutes. Drain, reserving 1-1/2 cups pasta water, and set aside.
  3. Whisk ricotta, egg, nutmeg, and Parmesan together until smooth. Season with salt and pepper and fold in 1 cup mozzarella. Transfer to a piping bag or a large ziplock bag.
  4. To stuff the shells, cut off the tip of the piping bag or the corner of the ziplock bag and pipe the filling into the cooled shells. Set aside.
  5. Melt butter in an oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Once melted, add sage leaves. Fry until darkened and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
  6. Add shallots, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes to the skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add tomato paste and pumpkin puree and cook for 1 minute. Add vodka, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 minute. Add the pasta water, bring to a boil, and reduce by half. Pour heavy cream into the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Turn off the heat.
  7. Gently arrange stuffed shells in the sauce. Top with 1-1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and bake for 25 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes towards the end to brown the cheese. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  8. Divide the pasta into serving dishes and top with the fried sage leaves. Serve and enjoy!