or Stuffed Pasta Shells
The blurb on this in the book calls it “an Italian comfort food classic!” I couldn’t agree More.
This is the first dish I am making- and I am not making it for ten people, so I did pair down this recipe substantially. Good for my math skills. Especially since it calls for two pounds of shells, but the box is sold as 12 oz. Might I say, “mama mia!”
That being said…
I did as recommended and made a full size batch of the classic tomato sauce since it has such a long simmer. I assumed I would be using it in the future.
Pretty standard- canned crushed tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, salt, Italian spices. Nothing fancy. I did a four hour simmer.
This is good stuff. Doesn’t taste super fresh like a summer tomato sauce- but very rich and comforting. Yum.
Shells are boiled for a short time and set to dry out on a towel.
Make your fatty filling. Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, parsley and egg- mix this together and fill those shells. This is where it got a little wonky for me.
She fits all of her shells (two lbs) in a 9×13 pan. I needed to divide mine up in much smaller portions- but then when I put the sauce on top, I didn’t think that there was enough in each one to finish cooking the shells- so I doubled the sauce. They ended up looking something like this…
Four loaf pans and a small ramekin! Foster Family will be eating this for a while I suspect.
These bake for a while (30 min) or until bubbly.
They turned out GREAT. Very comforting. Of course Mason wouldn’t touch them due to the parsley invasion and the specks in the sauce- but Mark and I liked them very much.
I paired them with the broiled asparagus in menu three- also delicious.
In retrospect, I probably should have put more shells in each pan- stacked them instead of a single layer. I think then I wouldn’t have had to double the sauce. But it was still tasty.
We had a left over pan a couple of days later and I left it wrapped in foil for the bulk of the baking- and that seemed to help cook the shells too.
So far so good!
From Menu 48, Whatever Happened to Sunday Dinner