Cooking: Stuffed Shells

Cristina is a first generation Italian-American. I’ve been to Italy. Cristina has asked me to make stuffed shells for her for some time. She knows I love to cook and has confidence in my abilities. Yet, I get nervous anytime I cook Italian food, especially since her dad was an Italian chef in New Orleans. With all that pressure, I decided to make stuff shells.

The catalyst for this was a taco party we had for her thirtieth birthday. We had plenty of cheese left over. We also happened to have ricotta cheese, Barilla shells, and some tomato sauce. I had put off making shells, but I couldn’t any longer.

After reading the recipes from Just off The Red Street Car Line and the back of the Barilla box, I decided to do a bit of this and a lot of that from both recipes.

While boiling the shells to make them soft, I made the stuffing. We were doing this without meat, so it was really just a cheese mixture. 15 ounces of ricotta cheese with not so well measured out Colby jack mixed together with some fresh Parmesan (please try to get the real thing not that stuff made by Kraft or from Wisconsin. The real thing has to come from Italy. Trust me, you will taste the difference). I threw in some Italian and Cajun seasonings and mixed. I then put a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a bake pan.

When the shells were ready to be stuffed (after about 6-8 minutes of boiling), I took them out and placed them on a sheet. I stuffed them and then put them in my baking pan and added more sauce, some pasta water, more Colby jack, more Parmesan, and more sauce. It made about 15 shells (boil more for when some break…and they will).*

Cristina seemed real pleased with the result. She didn’t complain at the three meals she made out of it.

*I’ll try to do a better job of taking pictures of my cooking. Just have to get used to having a camera in the kitchen.

One thought on “Cooking: Stuffed Shells

  1. Mmm I would love some stuffed shells right now! I usually make them with meat. My dad use to sometimes add spinach also. I currently have the shells but now the insides… will have to make some soon.

    Like

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