Butternut squash manicotti

Nov 3, 2011 at 11:55 a.m. ET

Put on a cute outfit and head outside for a fun photo session with the fall scenery in the background. Afterward you can head home to a warm and filling meal.

Fall portrait of couple
Whether we like it or not, the holidays are coming, so we might as well get prepared. There are a few distinct moments in our lives when we get all dressed up and get professional photos taken. However, there is a lot of time between engagements, weddings and births that never gets documented professionally. Take the time to do a mini-session with your sweetie. You can then use the photos for your holiday cards or to give as gifts. Head out to your favorite picnic spot or downtown with your photographer and get some fun shots of the two of you. If you don't have a ton of cash to spend, ask one of your friends to play photographer. You may not get amazing photos, but you'll likely have fun in the process.

After a few hours in the cold, you'll want to head home to a warm and hearty meal. Butternut squash manicotti is easy to make and will be the perfect end to a fun day. Top off the meal with a bottle of malbec and relax by the fire.

Butternut squash manicotti

Butternut squash manicotti

Serves 4


  • 2 cups cooked butternut squash
  • 8 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 manicotti shells
  • 1 jar marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese


  1. Boil a pot of water and cook manicotti shells until they are tender.
  2. In a large bowl, combine squash, ricotta cheese, garlic, basil, cinnamon, salt, brown sugar and olive oil. Using a hand mixer, blend the ingredients together until they are a smooth consistency. Scoop the mixture into a plastic bag and clip one corner off. Squeeze the mixture into the shells.
  3. Lay the filled shells into a baking dish and cover with marinara and mozzarella cheese. Cover and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

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