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
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.