Recipe: Stuffed Shells
Sorry- one more! The kitchen subject in the last one reminded me that I actually have a recipe to share with you all. That I made. It was originally inspired by a Real Simple recipe for stuffed shells, and then I edited it enough that I think I can call it mine. It’s not like there’s much a person can call theirs about a basic stuffed shell recipe, anyway.
But here it is (sorry there’s no photo- we ate it before I thought to take one this time. Oh well. I’ll get it later.)
Generously serves 2
15ish (approx. 6 oz. or half a package) jumbo shells
1/2 jar pasta sauce, whatever your favorite kind is, or make 12 oz. of your own
15 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
6 oz. fancy shredded mozzarella cheese (regular shredded works, too- it just doesn’t melt as well)
4 oz. (1 cup) grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Handful of fresh basil leaves or about a palm’s covering dried
- Shift the oven rack to the highest position. Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Cook shells according to package directions. When finished, move to colander and rinse with cold water until cool to the touch.
- Meanwhile, stir together all the cheeses (reserve some mozzarella for topping or use additional) until well-blended. Add basil- if dried, stir in by parts to ensure even mixing. If using fresh, shred or dice finely and add by parts, as well. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Line bottom of baking dish (I used a 13×9 glass cake pan) with pasta sauce.
- Take the cheese mixture and stuff it into the cooled shells. I find it easiest to just use my hands. If you have shells or cheese left over, it’s perfectly fine to save it for a few days in the fridge and eat some other way. The cheese is delicious on a toasted bagel.
- Place stuffed shells in the sauced pan, cheese-filled opening up.
- Sprinkle reserved (or additional) mozzarella on top of shells.
- Bake for 16-20 minutes, or until cheese appears well-melted.
Allow to cool 3 minutes before serving.
Also delicious with red pepper flakes added in with the basil.
I’ll snatch a photo next time we make it, promise. Ryan loves it so we’ll definitely be doing it again. The quantities on the non-ricotta cheese and the basil are approximate, since I basically did handfuls and taste to figure it. I’ve gotten to the point in my cooking where I view recipes as guidelines and don’t necessarily stick to the hard-and-fast of the numbers. Baking, though, I totally do.
Cooking is an art; baking is a science.
If you make these, let me know how it went and if you think there’s something that could be improved. I do want to try it with some other cheeses, but I’m not sure where to start just yet. Anyway- enjoy!
- Posted in: Cooking