Years ago when I was first married, my mother in law used to make Stuffed Shells. I never heard of these before. And so I asked her how do you make them? I wanted to learn since my new husband loved them. She told me how to make the stuffing and to buy large pasta shells. And so that's what I did.
I made my homemade spaghetti
sauce and proceeded to put this together. I sat there stuffing over 100
shells. Took me all afternoon and I thought to myself.......these people
are nuts. I'm never making this again! And so I finished the recipe and
presented them to hubby. Of course he loved them, and I said good!, cuz
I AM NEVER MAKING THESE THINGS AGAIN! Who stuffs over 100 shells for a
meal unless your feeding an army?
And so the story got told to
his mother because she wanted to know how they turned out. She laughed
and I got upset. You see this lil Polish/Hungarian girl never heard of
Stuffed Shells before this and didn't know they also made JUMBO SHELLS.
That's what I should have used! lol So once I found them in the store,
the recipe finally made sense to me. That was 40 yrs. ago, Ive made it
often thru the yrs.
These can be made and frozen before or after
cooking. They usually make a lot so its good you can freeze them.
Unless you were having a houseful of people, you're going to have
Italian Stuffed Shells
1 box of JUMBO pasta shells
1 lb. of mozzarella cheese
2lb. ricotta cheese
S & P
A couple tbsp. chopped parsley
Grated Romano cheese
Your favorite spaghetti sauce, homemade or not but homemade is better
Cook pasta shells till al dente. Cook them too long and
they fall apart. You want them done but still with a bit of bite to
them. Drain and let cool.
Meanwhile make the stuffing. Cut up the mozzarella cheese
into cubes about 1/2 in. Some folks shred the cheese on a grater and
you certainly can do that but we like chunks of melty cheese in these
better. Put into lg. bowl with ricotta. I used part skim but it doesn't
matter what kind you use.
Chop some parsley, I do about 2-3tb. You will be tasting
this so if you feel it needs more when you taste add it but I start with
this. Add S & P. I add alot of pepper but go ez on the salt since
the grated Romano adds alot. I buy a big chunk of Romano and freshly
grate it but you can buy what you want. We use it alot so I always have a
chunk around here. I would say start with about a 1/2c. and mix it in,
then taste. You want it to have flavor but not be salty or bland. You
need to add enough of the things to the mix so that it is not bland.
When its to your taste, add the eggs and beat in well.
Take each shell and stuff till full. I use one lg. soup spoon and one
big scoop is usually enough. The shells are ez to fill if you squeeze
them gently from end to end. They are a bit like those old fashioned
coin purses that you squeezed to open. Place shells in lg. baking pan.
It will fill a 13 x 9 pan with some leftover. Just put them in a smaller
pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over to just cover. You will use the rest
when you serve these. Sprinkle with Parmesan. Cover with foil.
at 350 till hot and bubbly about 30min. or so. These are quite filling
so a serving of 4 is plenty for most people. Top with hot spaghetti
sauce and serve.
Sometimes I make this in two smaller pans and
freeze one unbaked for another meal. I also roughly cut up any broken
cooked shells and toss them in the pan before I put the sauce on. They
cant be filled but they are still pasta, so why waste them?