Usually, we try to post delicious and simple recipes on What’s Cooking Wednesdays. However, in honor of Halloween taking place tomorrow night, I thought that something festive which might require a bit more effort would be fitting. Let me assure you, the extra work involved in this recipe is SO worth it!
Fluffy manicotti filled with savory pumpkin and creamy cheese and loaded from top to bottom with cream sauce and topped with crispy sage…. what is not to love! In fact, the next time I make this recipe, I plan on doubling it and freezing one to have on hand for later in the winter when I am craving it 🙂 Thanks so much to the folks over at Go Bold with Butter Blog for letting us borrow this recipe. Be sure to check out their blog for more great tips and recipes from them.
- 1-8 oz. pkg manicotti pasta
- 3 C. Milk
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 8 Tbs. butter (divided)
- 1/8 c. sage leaves thinly sliced
- 1/4 c. flour
- 1 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
- 1 c. pumpkin puree
- 1 egg
- 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt (divided)
- 1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 c. grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Boil Manicotti noodles in salted water for 5-8 minutes. Pasta should still be al dente. Drain, add a Tbs or 2 of oil and mix around in the pasta to keep the tubes from sticking to each other, then set aside.
Bring milk to a boil, lower to simmer, and add whole garlic cloves. Allow garlic to steep for about 15 mins, then remove from milk and discard.
Melt 2 tbs of butter in another med saucepan, add sage leaves, and cook until crisp. Remove leaves and set aside to drain. Add the remaining 6 tbs of butter to melt. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly and cook for 2 minutes until a very thick paste is formed. Slowly add warm milk to the flour and butter paste, stirring occasionally so sauce doesnt burn, cook for an additional 10 mins to thicken. Season with 1/2 tsp. Salt and remove from heat to cool.
Place 1/2 c. of sauce into the bottom of a 9×13 inch oiled casserole dish.
Mix Ricotta, pumpkin, egg, nutmeg, salt, and 1/2 c mozzarella and pour into a large Ziploc bag removing all air.
Snip off about 1/4 inch of the corner of the bag and squeeze mixture into both sides of the cooked manicotti tubes until filled. Place filled tubes tightly into casserole dish. Once dish is filled, top with remaining sauce, then mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Lastly, sprinkle crispy sage leaves over cheese, cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 10 mins or until sauce and cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Enjoy!
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