Stuffed shells before baking
I think I’m on an Italian kick lately. First the meatballs, now stuffed shells! Against all common sense, my boys refused to eat this, but it was a favorite of mine (and my siblings) as a child. I altered the recipe a bit to make a delightful comfort food for a winter meal!
- 1 lb handmade ricotta (Whole Foods sells this, or you could make your own)
- 1 8-oz package cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 eggs
- 1 package jumbo shell pasta
- 1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook and drain pasta according to directions on package (boil for about 9 minutes).
While pasta is boiling, combine ricotta, cream cheese, eggs, and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese until blended. In a large baking dish, pour most of the jar of tomato sauce, covering the bottom of the dish. Set aside about half a cup to spoon on top.
Once the pasta is cooked, drain and run cool water over the pasta to stop it from cooking further (you don’t want mushy pasta!). Strain all the water, being sure to shake it up a few times so the trapped water drains out.
Spoon filling into each of the shells, then place onto tomato sauce. Repeat until all the filling is gone, or you run out of room in your dish. Spoon the remainder of the sauce on top of the shells, then the remainder of the mozzarella cheese and parmesan. Cover with foil and store in the fridge until ready to bake. If you bake right away, place into preheated 350 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes, until cheese has melted and insides are hot (if you decide to bake later, you will want to leave it in for a bit longer– about 30 minutes).
Enjoy with some crusty garlic bread and a big spinach salad!