What’s more comforting than a big tray of pasta on a cool winter night? Answer: Not much. Then again, it’s been in the high 70s here so what do I know about winter? The biggest chill I get is coming out of the air conditioning vents in my car as I drive home from work…
Hey, don’t judge.
I made these stuffed shells for my momma when she came over to celebrate “Second Christmas” with us. She missed out on first Christmas due to circumstances beyond our control, so last weekend I had her come over, open presents, and enjoy a good home-cooked meal.
Half of these were left vegetarian (just for fun), but since I had some extra prosciutto lying around that I didn’t want to waste, the other half had prosciutto added to them. Both were delicious, and show just how customizable this recipe really is.
As an added bonus, you can make these in advance to bake the next day, or even freeze them for a future dinner! Play around with the flavors, do what you like, but definitely add these to your dinner rotation.
Stuffed Pasta Shells
[ Printable Recipe ]
- 16 – 20 jumbo pasta shells (you’ll want extra
in casewhen some break)
- Shredded italian cheese
- 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
For the filling:
- 15 oz ricotta (I prefer Trader Joe’s, but do what you will)
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large tomato, finely diced
- ½ medium onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- Fresh basil, minced
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 7 oz prosciutto, diced (optional)
- salt & pepper
Lightly grease a 9 x 13 baking dish and pour a layer of sauce on the bottom.
If you’re baking these right away, might as well get that oven heated to 350F
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the filling ingredients adding salt and pepper to taste. Realizing you probably don’t want to “taste” the filling on its own, probably about a ½ teaspoon or so of salt and a few grinds of pepper should do?
3. Once the shells have cooled, fill them with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the baking dish. Top off with more pasta sauce, shredded cheese, and grated parmesan. You can, at this time, either refrigerate the shells (covered) for tomorrow, or throw them in the oven.
*If you’re going to freeze them, fill them and place them on a freezer-safe dish. Freeze about 20 minutes until firm, then place in a freezer-safe bag and store in your freezer until ready to use. When ready to bake, cover the bottom of a baking sheet with sauce, place the shells on top, cover with more sauce and cheese, then bake COVERED for 30 minutes, uncover and continue to bake for another 15 -20 minutes until hot and bubbly.