Baked Shells with Winter Squash

Prep Time:
10 mins
Total Time:
50 mins

This is a grown-up alternative to macaroni and cheese, but even kids might approve.


  • Butter, for baking dish

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced

  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves

  • 1 pound small pasta shells

  • 1 package (12 ounces) frozen winter squash puree, thawed

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • 3 slices crusty baguette, cut into ¼-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions; season with salt and pepper. Cover; cook until onions are soft and release liquid, 15 minutes. Uncover; raise heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until onions are browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon rosemary.

  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water 2 minutes less than package instructions suggest. Drain, reserving 1 1/2 cups cooking water. Return pasta to pot.

  3. Stir squash and reserved pasta water into onions; simmer 2 minutes. Toss squash mixture and 1/2 cup Parmesan with pasta. Transfer to prepared dish.

  4. Combine bread cubes with remaining Parmesan, rosemary, and oil; season with salt and pepper. Top pasta with bread cubes; bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes.

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