Saturday, November 20, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Who wants to learn how to make stuffed shells?

Well, I did - yesterday.  I was browsing the Pioneer Woman at work and came across her recipe for stuffed shells - they just looked so good!  I texted Bruce and asked him if he liked stuffed shells and, after an emphatic 'YES' from him, I knew I was going to be attempting them for the first time that night.

I used Ree's recipe to get a sense of ingredient proportions and timing, but strayed pretty far in terms of how I created and seasoned the sauce and filling.  Bruce was a little scared when I told him I wasn't really using a recipe, but that really is the beauty of italian cooking - it is all to taste!  Here we go ...

Stuffed Shells

2 tablespoons Oil or Olive Oil (not pictured)
1 box Large or Extra Large Shells 
1 large White Onion
1 lb Ground Beef
1 can or jar Traditional Pasta Sauce
I can Diced Tomatoes
Salt & Pepper
1/2 cup Water
15 oz. Ricotta Cheese
4 cups Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Basil

Start by chopping your onion.  While you chop, heat your oil in a skillet.

Mmm.  Wait until they start to get nice and brown.

Once the onions are brown, throw in the meat and cook until brown.  Season with salt and pepper (I use sea salt).

Once everything is cooked, lower your heat and add your sauce ...

... and your diced tomatoes.

And then mix in 1/2 cup water to the sauce - this is really just to thin out the sauce so as it simmers, it doesn't get too thick and dried out.

Meanwhile, boil some water and cook your pasta al dente.

And combine all of your ricotta cheese and 3 cups of your mozzarella cheese.  Add two tablespoons of basil into the mix.

Once your shells are cooked al dente, drain and pour cold water over them so they will be easier to handle.

Spoon half of your sauce into a 9x13 baking dish.

And start to stuff your shells with the cheese mixture, placing them face down in the sauce.

Bruce got home in the middle of this project and picked up my camera for me.  I'm not sure how I would have gotten these shots with hands covered in cheese, ha.


Snug fit, but it'll work.

Cover the shells with the rest of the sauce ...

... and top with the remaining mozzarella cheese!  Mmm, cheese.


Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-40 minutes.

It came out bubbling!

Oh my.

This was so delicious!  I don't know why it's taken me so long to attempt stuffed shells.  They are easy, relatively inexpensive and will feed us for a week.

Enjoy!  Have a great weekend everyone.


  1. Those look really good! I've always been a little intimidated by stuffed shells, but these seem pretty easy and I want to make them sometime :)

  2. Hi do you print your recipes? Am I just not seeing it?

  3. Hi Laura! I don't usually do printable recipes, but if it's something people are interested in, I'd be happy to start!


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