Sunday, April 17, 2011

Stuffed Shells

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_u3rxdrzQFuw/S-mbQZiQFcI/AAAAAAAAOVQ/-Jhb2tDpymo/s1600/stuffed+pasta+shells+004.jpg

Ingredients

  • Salt
  • 8 pieces jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 1/2 pounds ricotta cheese (can use reduced fat or skim)
  • 1 white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound mozzarella, grated
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 6 leaves fresh basil, torn 
  • 1 cup shredded Asiago
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, Crushed
  • 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Egg Beaten

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Pasta:
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. 
  • Add pasta and cook according to the directions on the package for Al Dente.   Drain pasta and cool.
Filling: 
  • Combine ricotta, with 1/2 of the other cheeses (Mozzarella, Asiago, and Parmasiano.) Add parsley salt, pepper, and egg to the cheeses and stir to combine.
Sauce:
  • Over moderate heat add oil, garlic and onions. Saute onions and garlic 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and season sauce with salt and pepper ( I like to add a little red pepper flakes for an extra kick).
  • Simmer sauce 5 minutes and stir in basil leave. 
  • * If you have a little Marinara Sauce or prefer Meat sauce, that can ALSO be used.

Assemble:

  • Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a shallow medium sized casserole dish. 
  • Fill shells with filling  and arrange them seam side. 
  • Top shells with remaining sauce and remaining cheeses. 
  • Cook 6 to 8 minutes uncovered, to melt cheeses , or till you see the sauce bubble.
 **Feel free to get inventive with these.  I have added spinach, ham,  to the cheese filling, filled with meat, added a layer of sliced Italian sausage to the bottom of the pan, etc.  Get creative, and ENJOY!!! (BTW.  They freeze WONDERFULLY, I usually make two or three pans and freeze for later..)



Lisa C. . . . .


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