April 18, 2012

Stuffed Shells

They say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I think that the same probably holds true for women, especially in my case. When we first started dating nearly seven years ago, my boyfriend whipped up a batch of what would soon become his famous stuffed shells, using a recipe passed down from his parents. Although the sauce remains a family secret, he’s allowed me to share the recipe for the delicious cheese stuffing, which he still makes on the occasional Sunday to remind me of the early days of our relationship. The shells are guaranteed to leave you with a stuffed stomach, especially when paired with homemade garlic bread and a bottle of wine.

Preheat your oven to 375°. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions and drain. Put a layer of the tomato sauce of your choosing at the bottom of a baking dish. Mix the following ingredients together and stuff about a tablespoon or two into each shell.

Cheese Stuffing:
15 oz. ricotta
10 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 beaten egg
1 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
¼ cup fresh chopped parsley 

Place stuffed shells in the tomato sauce-laden baking dish, and place the baking dish on a foil-lined baking sheet. Top the shells with an additional layer of tomato sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan and/or mozzarella cheese as desired. Cover the baking dish with foil and pop it, and the baking sheet, into the oven to bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, or until the sauce starts to bubble in the middle of the dish. Prepare to be amazed.

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