Stuffed Shells, That’s Amore

Happy Leap Year Extra Day! I didn’t know what food was appropriate to celebrate today but I have a fitting one for a wintry day.

Since pasta as our go-to when we don’t feel like really cooking, I rarely make any other pasta dishes. I randomly decided to make stuffed shells and it was such a hit I’ll have to make them again. These aren’t rocket science but they are a great one to double and freeze. Since there’s only 2 of us here, I made one batch and we had it for dinner and then we each took it for lunch for the rest of the week. You could always prep them the night before too.

Ingredients:

1 pound jumbo shells
3 cups tomato sauce
16 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 tbs Italian seasoning
¼ cup prepared alfredo sauce (optional)
3 tbs chopped fresh basil (optional)
2 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Boil shells to al dente (don’t overcook since they’ll cook a bit when baked).
stuffed_shells_nood_590_390
Mix ricotta with Parmesan, egg, Italian seasoning, and alfredo sauce. (I also added fresh basil.)
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Spray baking pan with nonstick spray and ladle 1 cup of tomato sauce to the bottom of the dish (I started with alfredo).
Carefully fill each shell with cheese mixture.
stuffed_shells_prepped_590_390Pack shells in tightly next to one another
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Top with half the mozzarella and remaining tomato sauce.
Bake covered for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.
Add the rest of mozzarella for the last 15 minutes to bake uncovered.
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This was really good. I guess I should think of pasta dishes more often for planned meals. It actually made me want other baked pasta dishes.
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My Gram W wasn’t known for her cooking, but she made one mean baked ziti. Her only other claims to fame in the kitchen were fudge, chex mix, and pound cake. I got one of her original pound cake recipes at my wedding shower.

Go ahead and make some stuffed shells. They’re a fun recipe to customize with some spinach, sausage, artichokes or whatever you want. I’m not always into really crossing food boundaries. I keep seeing taco stuffed shells with a mexican flair, but I wouldn’t go there.

I also don’t mess around with low fat cheese. It’s not the same and I often would rather not even have it since it doesn’t melt the same, but that’s your call too. So, what do you say about low-fat cheese? Love it? Hate it?

3 thoughts on “Stuffed Shells, That’s Amore

  1. This recipe is just like the filling for my mother-in-law’s lasagna and also stuffed peppers … cut the tops off sweet peppers, clean out the seeds and membranes, blanch until just tender, stuff with the cheese filling, cover with sauce and bake. Yummy!

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