Yesterday our monthly dinner group gathered and it was my turn to make the main dish. Since we were heading out of town in a few days and there was not a lot in the refrigerator, I decided to make something easy. Stuffed Shells was the choice.
I started with some 32 ounces of ricotta (Note: we had 12 ounces in the refrigerator along with another 4+ ounces of cottage cheese. I used those since they would go bad while we were on holiday and I just bought a 16 ounce container.) I mixed the ricotta with 4 ounces of Parmesan, 1 teaspoon of dried oregano, 4 ounces of shredded mozzarella, 1 teaspoon of garlic powder, 1 egg and salt and pepper. If you have some mushrooms or baby spinach, you can chop them up and add that as well.)
While I was mixing the filling, I cooked one box of pasta shells according to the directions. After they were cooked, I drained them and cooled them down a little with some cold water.
Then I sprayed a baking dish with cooking spray. I added enough tomato sauce (Note: I just used one 28 ounce jar since I was trying to avoid having any food left in the refrigerator.) to put a layer on the bottom of the bakng dish.
I put approximately 1 1/2 tablespoons of the ricotta mixture in each shell and lined the shells up in the baking dish. After the shells were filled, I spread the rest of the sauce over the shells. Then I sprinkled more Parmesan and mozzarella over the sauce.
While I stuffed the shells, I turned on the oven to 350 degrees. I put the baking dish in the oven and cooked the shells uncovered for 1 hour. The sauce was bubbling when it was removed. After letting the shells sit for about 5-10 minutes, I covered them and took them to our friends house.
Everyone enjoyed the dish. Although it was not my intention, we ended up with some leftover shells. I put them in a smaller baking dish and stored them in the freezer. Paula and I will eat them when we return from our trip. That way I won’t need to worry about rushing out to the grocery store immediately.