9.07.2010

DINNER MENU: Stuffed Shells
"Ooooooooow, Ivy, stuffed shells, how fantastic!
It has been such a random gloomy day here in Los Angeles. Bleghehkgh.
I think A delicious comforting dish for dinner like....stuffed shells is in order.
Oh my gosh! Is Summer really over? NO! I refuse!
Well...today I will embrace the gray skies and will cozy up to stuffed shells but don't think this is the end for me. I still have a couple ice creams to make. :)

Well, I talked briefly about stuffed shells before, RIGHT HERE *where the picture is much better than the one below*, but I didn't do the whole recipe thing so, I thought it would be fun. It's one of our favorites and is pretty easy. They do take a while though because of the baking time in the oven.
I think most jumbo pasta shell boxes have recipes right on the box you could follow.
I like filling them with ricotta cheese but you could do meat too. I just throw whatever seasoning I have on hand into the cheese and mix it up. No need to get exact with Italian food. Right?

Italian seasoning
finely chopped garlic
finely chopped onion/shallot
Dill
Fennel seeds
Pesto-homemade or not
Oregano
Basil
Rosemary
finely grated Parmesan or flavorful cheese
a pinch of crushed red pepper
Anyway.. you get my point-just through in some Italian-like flavors.

I make them different every time. It's fun that way.

Stuffed Shells
Makes 12 shells
Ingredients:
-Jumbo Pasta shells,
Olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 and onion or a medium shallot, finely chopped
1 tbs Dill
1 tbs Italian seasoning 
pinch crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
Medium container ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 package mozzarella cheese
Parmesan cheese block

What to do:
-Boil pasta shells for 15-20 minutes *always boil a couple more shells than what is needed because some end up ripping and you can't really use them.
-Saute onion, garlic, crushed red pepper, dill, pepper, fennel seeds and your seasonings in 1-2 tbs olive oil until garlic and onions are soft and transparent.Set aside. Or chop all seasoning and garlic in a food processor and skip the skillet.
-In a large mixing bowl mix the ricotta cheese with you seasoning mix and add 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside
-Strain pasta shells and rinse with cold water (so you can handle them and not burn you fingers)
-Line a square baking dish with foil (for less mess) and sprinkle with olive oil.
-Take a shell in you hand and with a large spoon, scoop a spoonful of the ricotta mix into the shell and place it in the baking dish. "rinse and repeat" until you are done.
 -In a large bowl, and this is optional, mix 1/4 cup red wine to your red sauce.
-Pour red sauce over the shells, completely coating them. Cover shells with foil.
-Bake at 375 degrees for half hour to 45 minutes.
-Sprinkle grated mozzarella cheese over top of the sauce and then (for prettiness) sprinkle some Italian seasoning or dill over the cheese.
-Continue to bake uncovered until cheese is deliciously melted (5 minutes)
Serve with a healthy salad and or garlic bread like when I made it HERE.

Ciao!

3 comments:

Powercakes said...

i like your new layout. XD
Stuffed Shells look delicious as well... i miss having dinner with you.

Jane said...

Ciao Bella! This looks very yummy, as my love for Italia and her foods grows, so does my waist- and well, other areas too!

Will give this a try, Mahalo xo

Rachel said...

Wow, that looks really delicious. I'll have to try that. Yum!