Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stuffed pasta shells on a wet and miserable night.

It was a very wet, miserable night, I was a woman without a plan, everyone was hungry.  I was tempted to dial for pizza, I wondered if the number was still on speed dial, but then the 13 year old spied the jumbo pasta shells.  They were empty of course and would need filling, but with a slight cheat and some ricotta cheese, all would be well. 

Here's what worked in my moment of panic;

This makes a HUGE amount, halve the recipe if it sounds like too much of a good thing.

2, 12 oz packets of jumbo pasta shells
2 lb tub of ricotta cheese
4 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
A large handful of fresh herbs such as oregano or parsley
2 eggs
Zest of a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
2, 24 oz jars of your very favorite pasta sauce

Hear the oven to 375F

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add the pasta shells. 

Cook until al dente (they will continue to cook in the oven).

Drain and leave until they are cool enough to handle.

While the pasta is cooking, get on with making the filling.  In a medium bowl mix the ricotta, eggs, minced herbs, lemon zest, black pepper and nutmeg.  I do not add any salt as the Parmesan does the trick.

Add about a tablespoon of mixture into the shells and line up in a very lightly greased ovenproof dish.

Here's the cheat.  Pour the pasta sauce over the shells.  Of course you can make your own, but remember I was down to the wire last night.  Sprinkle a few more herbs over the top.

Cover with aluminum foil and put into the oven for 45 minutes.  Take off the foil, sprinkle with Parmesan and pop under the broiler to bubble and brown.

Serve to your ravenous crowd with a nice fresh side salad and a lovely lemony vinaigrette.


  1. this is one of my favorites for sure,,

  2. Tasty, Tasty Mary!! Cheat or no cheat, they look fabulous. I am a great believer in using good quality pasta sauces. Some are every bit as good as one you might make yourself! I used to love Prego. Sadly we can't get that over here. XXOO

  3. It seems like a lot of work until you think about the eating part!

  4. Love me some stuffed pasta shells. I think it is one of the easiest ways to cook pasta and have it be so fresh and flavorful. So many different ways you can stuff them. Love your version and I will definitely be trying this soon! Thanks girl for sharing

  5. This looks delicious! And, I'm glad you resisted the temptation to dial for pizza because I completely would have!

  6. Love this kind of pasta!I am sure they were a hit and appreciated by your lovely daughters!

  7. If your unplanned meals can be as good as this one, I am wondering how awesome you planned ones will be :)
    Definitely a far better option than dialing for pizza!
    I am excited that you will be trying out the houmous recipe - please let me know how it turns out - that be the best thing to hear :)

  8. Delicious! This is one of my favorite dishes. I've never tried it with nutmeg though. That sounds like a nice touch. :)

  9. Oh my gosh, LOVE stuffed shells this is beautiful! anne

  10. You are a very quick thinker! They look delicious and I'm sure the children devoured them. I hope you have a great evening. Blessings...Mary

  11. Brilliant! I must start stoking with some giant shell pastas!!


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