I hope everyone is having a great Monday. Since Monday is always a “get back to real life” day, I figured I’d give y’all a recipe that will lift your spirits. My mom used to make stuffed shells when I was a kid. I hated them when I was really young (because of the ricotta cheese), but once I got older and gained more respect for the art of cooking, I grew to love stuffed shells. These are a little different than the ones my mom used to make. They have basil pesto in them. BASIL PESTO! I could eat the entire jar of this stuff. I made these for dinner last night and they were definitely a hit!
So here’s the recipe:
Basil Stuffed Shells
- 12 oz box of jumbo shells
- 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/2 cup basil pesto
- 1 large egg
- 1 jar of pasta sauce (regular flavor)
STEP 1: In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, pesto and the egg (the egg keeps the filling from getting too runny when cooked). Refrigerate the filling until you are ready to use it.
STEP 2: Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box (boil for 12 min.). You will still need to gently stir a few times during cooking. Be careful not to over cook the pasta or else it will rip easily and be too mushy after cooking with the filling and sauce. Drain the pasta and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process. Let the pasta drain.
STEP 3: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. The shells roll up tight when they are cooked so use the fingers on one hand to hold them open as you spoon about 3 Tbsp of pesto cheese mix into the center of each. There should be enough pesto cheese mix to fill the shell so that it stays open just slightly (the edges should be about 1/2 inch apart). Fill as many shells as you can with the cheese mix.
STEP 4: Spread one cup of pasta sauce in the bottom of a glass baking dish. Pack the shells in tightly. If you space them too far apart, they will dry out during the cooking process. Pour the remaining pasta sauce over top. Bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees or until the sauce is bubbling up around the edges.
Enjoy and Happy Kitchening