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Monday, December 15, 2008

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed shells are perfect for pot-luck or for a  family that is sick or going through a tough time. It's nice to keep disposable foil pans with lids on hand just for this purpose. I have also made a tag to attach when sending this dish to a friend which I have posted at the bottom!
4 cups Tomato Sauce preferably w/ meat
1 box large pasta shells
4 cups mozzarella plus more for top
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated plus more for top
2 eggs, slightly beaten
15 ounces ricotta cheese
chopped fresh parsley
salt & pepper
a few gratings of nutmeg
olive oil
1 large lasagna pan or 2 smaller ones
Prepare the sauce and boil the shells (boil them just before using or else they will stick!)If they stick rinse under cool water while separating. Stirring a little more frequently also helps prevent stocking.
Mix all of the cheeses, parsley, salt & pepper, nutmeg, and eggs together
Coat the bottom of a large lasagna pan with half the sauce
Now stuff one shell at time and then squeeze it shut (not completely) and place them in the pan-you want to squeeze in as many as you can so they will be very tightly packed. Also, if you over stuff you will run out of the filling.
Coat the shells with the rest of the sauce and some more mozzarella & Parmesan. Drizzle olive oil all over.
Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese melts and then remove the foil and bake for 10 more minutes or until golden crispy.
Or you can refrigerate until ready to bake.
Allow the shells to sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to set.
 Here is a tag I made for when I deliver this meal to a friend. What I do is prepare the shells in a disposable pan and do not bake them. I cover the pan with foil and tape this tag with instructions on top. I usually send some bread and a simple bagged salad along as well.

Preheat oven to 375
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is melted
Remove the foil and bake uncovered for 10-15 more minutes or until the cheese is golden & crispy
Allow the shells to sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow the cheese to set.
Buon Appetito!

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