Main Meals Recipes

Squash, Kale and Ricotta Baked Shells

Seasonal autumnal butternut squash, roasted to maximise the flavour. Leaving the skin on the squash increases the fibre content, so don’t be tempted to peel! It’ll save you time, keep your gut bacteria happy, and increase the flavour of the whole dish as it caramelises in the over from its first roasting!

I like to leave everything a little chunky, this way you can actually see what you’re eating, whether it be the creamy ricotta, soft butternut squash or kale. The final topping of mozzarella gives a lovely golden hue to the whole dish, as well as giving some lovely texture which I always can’t resist to leave to the final mouthful.

This dish is perfect for wowing a crowd at a dinner party. It can happily sit in the fridge for a day or two, and by cooking the pasta in advance and allowing it to cool in the present of oil, you increase the fibre content through the formation of something called resistant starch. So don’t be afraid to prepare in advance and then whip out at a later date (even if it’s just for a mid-week dinner!). Alternatively, assemble the dish bar the final crown of mozzarella and you can freeze portions which can be cooked at a later date.

Serves 5


  • 500g Butternut Squash, skin on and cubed
  • 200g giant pasta shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 120g kale, sliced
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 350g rough passata
  • 500g ricotta
  • ¼ nutmeg, grated
  • 1 ball mozzarella


  • Set the oven to 150°C fan/160°C convection. Place the butternut squash on a roasting tray and cook for 20 minutes till golden brown. Turn the oven up to 180°C.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta for 2 minutes less than the packet instructions. Drain and mix the olive oil over to stop the shells from sticking.
  • Steam the kale over boiling water for 4 minutes.
  • In a large ovenproof dish, gently sauté the onions in rapeseed oil over a low heat. Once soft add the garlic, cook for a further minute before adding the passata and cook till reduce by a third.
  • Meanwhile, mix the ricotta and nutmeg together and season to taste with salt and pepper. Break up the roasted squash roughly, add to the ricotta mix with the kale. Stuff the pasta shells with the mixture.
  • Off the heat, arrange the stuffed shells into the dish and top each shell with mozzarella.
  • Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes till golden brown and bubbly.
  • Delicious served with roasted vegetables or a side salad.

Per serving 417kcal/ 20.0g fat/ 9.3g saturated fat/ 34.6g carbohydrates/ 5.0g fibre/ 18.6g protein

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