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
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!
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