Sooooooooo...were you aware that browned butter could also be a savoury thing?
I was unaware of this.
I'm a little upset that no one informed me of this.
Here I've been...toodling along making Browned Butter Cinnamon Bun Breadsticks, Toffee Bars with Browned Butter Frosting, Browned Butter Ice Cream, etc..etc.. (Needless to say I use browned butter A LOT in my baking.), the whole time, blissfully unaware I could be creating dinner dishes using browned butter.
All sweets. No savoury. I mean...who would've thought that the deliciousness of browned butter would work in something other than sweet treats?
Clearly not me.
Well...now that I know about this secret that everyone has been keeping from me I plan on letting the rest of the world in on it.
I had some leftover squash so decided to try my hand at stuffed shells. The browned butter sauce is a combination of a few sauces I found online. I think, if you can't find the jumbo shells, this should also work as a cannelloni stuffing too.
Squash Stuffed Shells with Browned Butter Sauce
1 pkg jumbo pasta shells
Parmesan cheese (for garnish)
Browned Butter Sauce
1/2 cup butter
8 sage leaves
2 cloves garlic, chopped
juice from 1/2 a lemon
salt & pepper
2 cups ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen spinach, squeezed dry
2 cups roasted, mashed acorn squash
1/4 tsp grated lemon peel
Prepare Browned Butter Sauce - Place butter in saucepan. Stir constantly, over medium-low heat, until butter just barely starts to turn brown. Add sage leaves and garlic.
Continue to cook until butter is browned and there is little flecks of brown in the bottom of the pan. (Watch it doesn't go too dark or it will taste burnt.) Remove from heat and add lemon juice and salt & pepper. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 400. Spray 2, 9 X 13 pans with cooking spray. Set aside.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan, garlic, spinach, egg, squash, and lemon peel. Mix until well combined.
Stuff the shells (or cannelloni). Place in prepared 9 X 13 dishes.
Remove the sage leaves from the sauce. Drizzle the shells with the browned butter sauce. (Yes, use it all!) Sprinkle with a little Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 400 until heated through, about 20 - 30 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with a little more Parmesan cheese, if desired.
These were so tasty. I was a little worried that the browned butter sauce might make these greasy. Nope.... it actually helps to make the shells a little crispy on the bottom.
The little hint of lemon in the sauce and the filling is just right.
These are VERY rich. 2 or 3 as a side dish with some chicken or steak would be more than enough. Also, this recipe makes A LOT.
You can see from the photo up above it made 2 pans full of pasta. (Approx 40 shells). I wasn't sure how much filling to make as I have never made stuffed shells before.
FYI - The leftovers are just as tasty the next couple of days for lunch.