Gluten Free Butternut Squash Manicotti

Serves 5 to 6 people

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 1 small butternut squash, about 1¼ pounds
  • 1 teaspoon jovial Reserve Blend Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

For the sauce

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Make the filling: Cut the squash in half lengthwise and remove the seeds. Place the squash on the baking sheet, cut side up and brush with olive oil, coating the entire surface of the squash. Place 3 leaves of sage on each half and sprinkle with salt.
  3. Bake for 45 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork. When cool enough to touch, remove the sage leaves and scoop the flesh out of the skin. Let cool completely.
  4. In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together 1¾ cups roasted squash, the mascarpone cheese, and egg on medium speed until creamy. Mix in the grated cheese and pepper. Set aside.
  5. Make the Sauce: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the sausage, cook over medium heat, breaking up the sausage with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through.  Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly add the milk, ¼-cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the mixture thickens. Stir in the tomatoes and salt and remove from the heat.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  8. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and salt to taste. Add 4 manicotti noodles for 4 minutes. Remove the manicotti with a slotted spoon and place on a clean kitchen towel. Continue cooking all of the manicotti in this manner.
  9. Assemble the dish: Place half of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. Transfer the squash mascarpone filling to a pastry bag. Cut a ½-inch hole in the bag. Pipe the filling in the manicotti, leaving some space at each end of the noodles.
  10. Arrange the manicotti in the dish with two noodles across the short side of the dish. Spoon the remaining sauce over the manicotti.
  11. Tightly cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Uncover, top with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and bake 5 minutes until the cheese has lightly browned.
  12. Let cool for 10 minutes and serve.

Additional Tips

The filling and sauce can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until you are ready to boil the manicotti and assemble.

If you would prefer a meatless dish, simply omit the Italian sausage.