Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Stuffed Shells for Two, Times Four

I love stuffed shells when my daughter makes them; we cook similarly, but somehow hers taste better to me; and, anyway, they're almost as fiddly to make as lasagne. However, this afternoon, I got an early start --one of the perks of retirement -- and got my shells oven-ready before 2 p.m. Using yet another great dollar store product -- a packet of three foil baking pans with lids -- I made three dinners for two to freeze in addition to tonight's supper. I love that.

Here's how I make my version, based on a combination of Rachel Ray's recipe and the one on a shell box:

Cheese-Stuffed Shells

Large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, chopped fine
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
One28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
3 fresh tomatoes, chopped, or a 15-oz. can of chopped tomatoes
Shredded basil

Two 15-ounce containers ricotta
Two 8-oz. packages shredded mozzarella
½ cup grated Romano
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ cup chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped basil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

1 box shells, cooked about 15 minutes, al dente, drained and spread on cookie sheet

Simmer sauce for about 10 minutes. Mix stuffing thoroughly with granny fork. Spread small amount of sauce over the bottom of each of four 9-inch baking dishes. Place about 10 stuffed shells in each dish. Spoon remaining sauce over the shells. Freeze or bake. To bake, top with additional Romano cheese and cover with foil. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about 30 minutes

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