Baked Stuffed Shells
This recipe is in the “Susan” section of the cookbook, so it’s meant to be fairly easy to put together. What I particularly like about it is that the cheese “stuffing” and tomato sauce can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the fridge for a few days until you’re ready to cook the full meal.
The first step was to make the light tomato sauce, which is basically just mixing and simmering garlic, onion, some spices, and pureed tomatoes over the stove.
While the sauce simmered, the pasta begins being cooked over the stove and I started squeezing water out of the spinach for the filling. The spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella, ham, and Parmesan are mixed together to form the filling.
Once the sauce and pasta is cooked and the filling is mixed together, it’s time to prep the pasta for baking!
First some sauce is poured onto the bottom of a baking dish, and then each pasta is filled with the filling before being added to the dish. Finally, sauce is poured over the the noodles before they are covered with aluminum foil and baked.
The aluminum foil is removed after a short while, at which point more Parmesan is sprinkled on top and the whole dish goes back into the oven for a little longer before serving.
The filling is nice and creamy after being cooked in the oven, and even though I’m not a huge ricotta cheese fan, I thought this dish was very good. My husband gives it a 10/10.
Honestly, this was not a very difficult recipe at all. The sauce just involved chopping onions and simmering ingredients over the stove, the pasta is boiled, and the filling is just mixing ingredients together. It does take some time to prep the dish, but it’s not difficult.
Cost: Average / Pricey
You’ll need olive oil, onion, garlic, oregano, red hot pepper, strained tomatoes (I used pureed), bay leaves, salt, jumbo pasta shells, frozen spinach, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, ham, grated Parmesan, and egg.
This made a lot of pasta! Since I was just making this for two of us, I only stuffed half the pasta shells and refrigerated the rest of the pasta shells, cheese filling, and tomato sauce for tomorrow.
You can also prep the filling and sauce ahead of time and keep them refrigerated for up to 3 days. I’ll be doing this is the future, since it took a while to prepare the entire pasta dish.