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Sunday Dinner: Baked shells with winter squash

How did Sundays go from a day when you share a special meal with family and friends, to a day to squeeze in last minute errands and chores? Whether you’re interested in bringing back a traditional Sunday sit-down dinner with your loved ones or just looking for new meal options, the Sunday Dinner main-dish recipe can help you bring it all together.

Winter squash mac and cheese

From Martha Stewart, this pasta recipe is similar to a traditional “mac and cheese” dish that both kids and adults love. Perfect for a crisp fall Sunday meal, the addition of winter squash might make this a new seasonal favorite.

Consider this mealtime manners tip from Peggy Post, great-granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post, the noted etiquette and manners expert in North America:

A family-style dinner is when side dishes are passed around to each guest, moving clockwise, and each guest serves himself. When someone sitting directly across from you asks for a side dish at a family-style dinner, it should be passed to the right around the table.

Exception to this rule: If someone sitting to your immediate left requests a second helping of a dish, don’t send the dish all the way around the table. It’s perfectly fine to directly pass the dish to the left.

Baked shells with winter squash

Serves 6


  • 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 ounce) frozen winter squash puree, thawed
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 slices crusty baguette, cut into 1/4-inch cubes (1-1/2 cups)


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Butter a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the onions are soft and release liquid, or about 15 minutes.
  3. Uncover and raise the heat to medium. Cook, stirring, until the onions are browned, or about 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon of rosemary.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, about two minutes less than the package instructions suggest. Drain the pasta and reserve 1-1/2 cups of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot.
  5. Stir the squash and reserved pasta water into the onions and simmer for about two minutes. Toss the squash mixture and 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese with the pasta. Transfer the mixture to a prepared dish.
  6. Combine the bread cubes with the remaining Parmesan, rosemary and oil. Season with salt and pepper. Top the pasta with the bread cubes and bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.

This may be a new, cheesy and easy favorite dish for the winter season!

Add a side dish or dessert to your Sunday Dinner

Balsamic roasted asparagus
Fresh basil with beans and cherry tomatoes
Tomato mushroom soup
Upside down Southern apple pie
Red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

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