Chorizo pumpkin Shells, as seen on Mary Makes It Easy, Season 1.
Recipe courtesy of Mary Berg

Stuffed Shells with Chorizo Pumpkin Cream Sauce

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 30 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
A twist on comfort food classic that’s great for feeding a crowd! These pasta shells are stuffed with chorizo sausages, pumpkin purée, basil pesto and three kinds of cheese, including ricotta, fontina and Parmigiano-Reggiano.


Basil Pesto:


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and cook the shells to al dente according to the package directions. Drain and cool on a baking sheet.
  3. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or oven-safe pan over medium heat. Add the sausage meat and cook, stirring occasionally to break up the meat, until golden brown and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan.
  4. Add the butter and garlic to the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Italian seasoning, wine and 1 cup of pumpkin purée. Slowly stir in the milk. Add the chorizo with any juices and season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  5. Meanwhile, make the filling. Mix the remaining pumpkin purée with the ricotta, egg and 1/4 cup of pesto, pepper flakes and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. In a small bowl, toss together the grated cheeses; add half to the pumpkin ricotta mixture. Fill each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the filling.
  7. Stir the greens through the sauce and carefully nestle in the stuffed shells. Scatter over the remaining cheese and transfer the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown. Spoon the remaining pesto overtop and allow the shells to cool slightly before serving scattered with fresh oregano and basil, if using.

Basil Pesto:

Yield: about 1 cup
  1. Add the basil, parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, nuts, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic and extra virgin olive oil to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Store in a sealed container for up to 1 week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.