Pumpkin Cannelloni

Recommended wine pairing: Tenuta Frescobaldi di Castiglioni

Serves 8

16 Cannelloni or manicotti shells
3 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 cup chopped onions
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried sage
15 oz. canned pumpkin
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 shredded parmesan cheese

Cream sauce:
5 tbs butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 tbsp fresh thyme, minced

Preheat oven to 350 F. Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Drop shells into the water one at a time, stir gently to avoid sticking. Cook shells according to package directions. Rinse the shells under cold water, separate them and put them aside. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over med heat. Add onions and garlic, cook until translucent stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin, ricotta, sage and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Stir until pumpkin filling is completely mixed. Put the mixture in a large piping bag and set aside.

Make the sauce by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly until you have a paste. Whisk in the milk, thyme and cream until the sauce becomes smooth. Cook the sauce over low heat for 5 -8 minutes until it bubbles and thickens. Pour half the sauce on the bottom of a large baking pan. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the shells. Put each filled shell into the large baking pan. Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells. Sprinkle with the remaining parmesan cheese. Cover the pan and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the cover cook for 5-8 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before serving.