Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Our Favorite Recipes - Stuffed Shells!

I love sharing new recipes I try but I decided I would also share some of our favorites.  Some I may have shared before but many will be "new".  I used to link recipes up so you could easily find them in the "archives" but over the last few years I got a little lazy with that feature - hopefully I can get back into the habit :-)  That also helps when I'm posting the menu - when I'm really on top of things I can provide links within my menu.

I haven't figured out how to post a "print recipe" option so I just try to post them in a way that you can easily "copy and paste" the recipe and print it that way.

Quite a few years ago, before we had kids, we used to go on vacation HA!  One year, while we were in Tennessee, we made a drive to South Carolina to see some friends.  For dinner, she made Stuffed Shells with Ricotta Cheese and they were amazing.  Once we got home, I went on a recipe search and found the perfect recipe.  It's been a long standing family favorite forever.  It's super easy, fairly inexpensive, and I love that I can put it all together in advance (like on a Saturday) and then cook it later (throw it in the oven right after church and dinner is ready in about 40 minutes).  I have no idea where I found the recipe since it has been so many years but I'm pretty sure that it is pretty standard this dish.

2 dozen large pasta shells
2 teaspoons salt
24 ounces part skim ricotta cheese *
1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs, Italian seasoned
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
1 egg, slightly beaten
Pasta sauce (jarred or homemade)
Mozzarella Cheese

Cook the shells in boiling, salted water, following the package directions.  Drain and rinse with cool water.  Set aside.  In a medium bowl combine the ricotta cheese, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley and egg; mix until well blended.

Cover the bottom of of a 9x13 baking dish with a thin layer of sauce.  Carefully spoon cheese mixture into shells; arrange shells, open side down, in the tomato sauce in the pan.  Pour the rest of the sauce over the shells. Cover with Mozzarella cheese and the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  Remove the foil and cook for 10-15 more minutes or until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbly.

* I usually buy the smaller container - I think it is 16 ounces - but keep the rest of the ingredients the same and it tastes fine.  It makes a slight smaller batch and I put the shells in a 9x9 pan instead.