I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Just Stuffed

I’ve always enjoyed stuffed shells but don’t make them very often, I really don’t know why. I remember a girlfriend’s mother making stuffed shells with chicken, spinach and swiss cheese in a cream sauce it was so good. I don’t have her recipe but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out, it was so rich and delicious. My aunt and grandmother always made theirs with ricotta and some type of meat. I pretty much follow their way of making them with an occasional tweak here and there. With a nice tossed salad and some bread you have a hearty comforting dinner. They are even better the next day reheated.

1 large box of stuffing shells, cooked
1 lb. Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup diced Prosciutto (may also use hamburger, sausage, chicken or veal)
1/4 cup chopped spinach
Salt, pepper, garlic powder and a little grated cheese to season filling (fresh or dried basil optional)
1 egg, lightly beaten2 cups of your favorite tomato sauce
Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese when serving

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat Ricotta, Prosciutto, spinach, seasoning and egg together in a large bowl. Stuff approximately 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture into each shell and place in a baking pan. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 15 to 20 minutes. Arrange shells on serving plates and pour hot sauce over.


nicisme said...

What a fabulous way of using pasta shells!

Julie said...

They are delicious Nicisme

Dan said...

I like to get some of the edges of the pasta a bit crunchy when I make any sort of baked pasta dish. Try pulling the foil and adding the sauce before you've completed the baking - then finish baking without the protection. The lower portions of the pasta will be protected by proximity and sauce while the exposed upper parts will get crunchy. This variety of textures is perhaps not representative of what we had in our youth, but is such an improvement in the interest of the dish that it's worth breaking with orthodoxy.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I love how you used meat, ricotta and spinach for the filling - the food looks so good, Julie!

Julie said...

Thanks Patricia

Julie said...

Hi Dan, I agree with you. I actually like the crunchy edges to the pasta as well. But this round it was being made for guests who prefer the softer style.

Carla said...

Stuffed shells has to be the most creative pasta dish. You can put any type of filling into them (I made a Greek version). Yours look delicious!

Julie said...

Thank you Carla

Chris said...

Yum! I love stuffed shells....but I have never made them - what's up with that? Who knows. And, a salad is the perfect accompaniment. Sounds fab!

Julie said...

I know Chris, I love them as well and for some reason rarely make them.