Creamy Butternut Squash and Shrimp Pasta Bake

This recipe may seem like a lot of ingredients but it isn’t too hard to make but will definitely impress any dinner guests.

The Recipe:
1/2 lb. penne pasta
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined
3-4 large shallots, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, chopped small
1/4 tsp. coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. tomato paste
1 carton Creamy Butternut Squash Soup
1 tsp. fresh ground nutmeg, divided
1/4 cup whole milk ricotta
1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
1 carton frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained well
1/3 cup fontina or mozzarella cheese, shredded

1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add pasta. Cook until al dente, 10-12 minutes.

2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Add shrimp and cook until pink, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Set aside.

3. In the same skillet, add shallots, garlic and red pepper. Add pinch of salt and pepper, oregano, and thyme. Cook for 8-10 minutes over medium heat until softened. Add tomato paste to cooked vegetables and cook for about a minute longer.

4. Add the Butternut Squash soup and 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, bring to a slow simmer. Simmer sauce for about 5 minutes until slightly thicker and flavours have combined. Taste for salt and pepper.

5. In a large bowl, combine cooked and slightly cooled pasta, shrimp, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, spinach, 1/2 tsp. nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir until slightly combined. Add 3/4 of the sauce to pasta mixture and continue to combine.

6. Pour pasta mixture into a glass casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray. Spread the pasta mixture evenly throughout the dish and add the remaining amount of sauce to the top of the pasta. Sprinkle shredded cheese over top of pasta and place in oven preheated to 375 for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly.

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My Experience:

This recipe may have a lot of ingredients and steps but the final result in really good. This recipe would be great to serve dinner guests as it looks very impressive and you can easily double the recipe without doubling the work.

I found mine a little dry so maybe buy 2 cartons of soup and adjust accordingly. I ended up buying a second carton and used it with the leftovers. Next time, I would just add the soup from the beginning. Maybe half the carton to start and see how it goes from there.

There are so many flavours in this recipe and yet they all seem to blend so well together. This is a great fall meal.

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