STUFFED PASTA SHELLS

June 2, 2015
stuffed pasta shells, Italian cooking, pasta, Italian recipe

Want to make the most amazing, real-deal, legit Italian stuffed pasta shells? This is your go-to recipe. It’s easy to make and it’s sure to be approved by adults and children alike. The secret ingredient to making this dish a tastier than traditional one is the lemon zest. You’re sure to enjoy and savor every last bite!

stuffed pasta shells, Italian cooking, pasta, Italian recipe

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ingredients

zest of one lemon, for pan

Sauce:
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes

Filling:
1 30 oz container ricotta cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
16 oz. mozzarella pearls
1 bunch of chives, minced
zest of one lemon

25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells

Prepare

1. Oil a baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350 F with a rack in the middle.

2. To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant – you don’t want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don’t want to burn your tongue)…If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.

3. To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.

4. Cook the shells for six minutes (al dente) in well-salted water – until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands – see photo.

5. Spread 2/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.

Stuffed Pasta Shells
Serves 4
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
45 min
Total Time
1 hr 15 min
Ingredients
  1. zest of one lemon, for pan
Sauce
  1. 1/3 cup / 80 ml extra virgin olive oil, plus more for the pan
  2. 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  3. scant 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  4. 8 medium cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  5. 1 28-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
  6. 1 14-ounce can crushed red tomatoes
Filling
  1. 1 30 oz container ricotta cheese
  2. 2 eggs, beaten
  3. 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  4. 16 oz. mozzarella pearls
  5. 1 bunch of chives, minced
  6. zest of one lemon
  7. 25-30 jumbo dried pasta shells
Instructions
  1. Oil a baking pan, or equivalent, and sprinkle the zest of the lemon across it. Set aside. Get a big pot of water boiling, and preheat your oven to 350 F with a rack in the middle.
  2. To make the sauce, combine the olive oil, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and garlic in a cold saucepan. Stir while you heat the saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute just 45 seconds or so until everything is fragrant - you don't want the garlic to brown. Now stir in the tomatoes and heat to a gentle simmer, just a minute or two. Remove from heat and carefully take a taste (you don't want to burn your tongue)...If the sauce needs more salt add it now. Let cool.
  3. To make the filling, combine the ricotta, egg, and salt in a medium bowl. Mix until combined, then stir in the mozzarella, remaining lemon zest, and 3/4 of the chives. Set aside.
  4. Cook the shells for six minutes (al dente) in well-salted water - until al dente. If you overcook, the shells will tear as you attempt to fill them. Drain and let cool long enough to handle with your hands - see photo.
  5. Spread 2/3 of sauce across the bottom of the prepared pan. Fill each shell with ricotta, and arrange in a single layer in the pan. Ladle the remaining sauce over the shells, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, uncover for the final 15 minutes or until the shells are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining chives and serve hot.
Florida Girl Cooks http://floridagirlcooks.com/
stuffed pasta shells, Italian cooking, pasta, Italian recipe

author: Teresa Gonzalez

Teresa is a South Florida native who is a photographer that also has a passion for food. She's a seeker of sunshine, lazy days at the beach, and exquisite food.

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  • Reply

    lisa @ garlicandzest.comAugust 16, 2015

    What a cool idea! I must say, I’m glad you didn’t make the cones – I was feeling singularly unaccomplished!

  • Reply

    lisa @ garlicandzest.comOctober 14, 2015

    congratulations! so happy for you and your family!

  • Reply

    MargaretNovember 18, 2015

    Hello Teresa, I am so very excited to try your cider bourbon glazed turkey, however the recipe states you have included your own cider bourbon glaze recipe “below”…but it is not there. Would you please send it to me? My William sonoma is out. Thank you have a wonderful thanksgiving! Margaret

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