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Share a Spoon: Stuff It!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Think Tank Momma

Happy Share a Spoon Thursday Smackers!
This week's theme is brought to you courtesy of the lovely vivacious and seriously talented Cheapskate Mom from Mad Boastings of a Cheapskate Mom.
Cheesecake for those of you who know her well!
She is also a major contributor over at the Lose It Bitches! site.

I am really excited for this week's theme.  STUFFED?  Oh yeah!  I love all sorts of stuffed veggies.  This is a good week for all my vegetarian folks!  Uh-huh! Uh-huh!

I made stuffed shells this week!  It is easier than you would think, aaaaand, so much better than those frozen hockey pucks!  Ewww!

I'm not going to repost my sauce.  The recipe is here.  This was the first recipe I posted for SaS.

Here's what you all will need:

2 lbs. Ricotta cheese
4 cups shredded Italian cheeses  (I use a four cheese blend.  I think it adds more flavor, but Mozzarella will work fine as well.)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1 tablespoon fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh Basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs
1/2 box of shells boiled in salted water according to the package.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Boil pasta in salted water according to directions.  Drain and run cold water over the shells.  Separate all the shells that are stuck together.

In a large bowl add the chopped fresh parsley and basil.  (If you use dried spices only use about a teaspoon each.  Dried spices are very concentrated in flavor and I only use fresh for this recipe.)  Add the ricotta and mix well until all the parsley and basil is evenly distributed through the ricotta.  Add salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Mix again.  Add parmesan and eggs.  Completely incorporate all ingredients.  Add the shredded cheese at the end.  This way you won't have large clumps with no seasoning.
In a large lasagna pan, cover the bottom of the dish with 2 cups of sauce (or enough to add a nice bed for the shells.)  Begin stuffing each shell with the ricotta mixture.  It should take about a tablespoon and half to fill each shell.  Do not overstuff.  You want the cheese mixture to stay inside the shells.  Place the shells in the pan in a single layer.  (Many of the boxes will tell you to layer the shells like lasagna.  I don't recommend it.  It turns out much better if you do a single layer.)  See pictures below.

Top the stuffed shells as pictured above with another cup or so of sauce.  Do not cover completely.  See picture below.

Top with a little extra grated parmesan.  Cover with aluminum foil.  Bake at 375 degrees for 40 minutes.  Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes before serving.  The cheese is bubbly and piping hot.  (The roof of my mouth recommends you heed the warning to wait to serve.)

(Cook's Notes:  I use lowfat ricotta, as well as reduced fat cheese blend.  The cheese blend I used had reduced fat mozzarella, smoked provolone, Asiago and Romano cheeses.  This dish freezes well.  You can easily make two pans and freeze one for later.  Also, I make my own sauce, but you can use whatever bottled sauce you prefer *just don't tell me you did that or I will cry in the corner*.) 

So...go stuff it!  Bwahahaha!  Check out all the other links.  If you have a favorite stuffed dish, link up with us!  Pictures are not necessary!

Love!  Lemme know what you want to see on Share a Spoon.  You guys pick the themes!  You get highlighted on Saturday and Thursday of your week!  What are YOU hungry for?


That One Mom said...

Looks delish! Maybe The Girl will wanna make it with me.

Dee said...

Looks yummy girl! Hubby makes really good stuffed shells!!

Ed said...

I'm gonna have to start printing all these off and make myself a cookbook.

MiMi said...

I make those!! They never look that good though! Yours look really good. Ha ha, I just thought of a pick up line...a lame one..."Hey baby, I like the way your shells look."
I REALLY need to go to bed now.
Sorry 'bout that.
Hey! I just thought, that line would work on the little mermaid though. Or not.
Really, really sorry.

Alicia said...

my family loves these!! they're a casa de cline favorite for sure!! and man, this picture made me HUNGRY!

Alex said...

Oh I think I just died and went to heaven!

FourJedis said...

That looks awfully tasty!

June said...

Oh my goodness... this looks totally amazing and I really want to visit just to have you cook for me! I will buy all the groceries and wash all the dishes if you will do the cookin!

Ian said...

Looks fantastic. Friggin love me some italian yo! Also dig how well this is doing around town. Might have to share a few things in the coming weeks

Babes Mami said...

Mmmm italian dishes are the only thing that Mami can cook right!

Salt said...

I LOVE stuffed shells. And so does my husband. I think this is a must-make in my house.

Buffee said...

Now I'm hungry!

Anonymous said...

OMGGG! Delish! Come cook it for me?

Helene said...

Holy moly, mama!!! That looks amazing!!!!!!!!!

Imaginative Me said...

BAHHH!!!! I have so many recipes that I love and would like to share but every freaking Thursday I forget!!! It's the pregnant brain! I have no brain cells left!! Seriously. What were we talking about?

*LLUVIA* said...

OMG!!! that is sooooo good!!!

Wish I had posted my bad experiment with the chiles rellenos! LOL! Just so everyone could have a good laugh!

Noelle said...

I made stuffed shells for Jason last week. He LOVED them! I don't have a special sauce though...i'll have to work on that. :)

Unknown Mami said...

Thanks for making me drool at work.