Hello friends! I’ve got one last recipe for you before Christmas, then its family time. I made these today for Christmas Eve. Being Italian, we do the whole all seafood, no meat Christmas Eve dinner. With that being said, we always have a non seafood, non meat dish and I am always in charge of that. This year I decided on Stuffed Shells with Pesto Ricotta!
Stuffed shells are great for a crowd and easy to make! This these Stuffed Shells with Pesto Ricotta it is all about the sauce and that ricotta filling. A good sauce is so important and its actually incredibly easy get a good one, its all about starting with good quality ingredients. If you can do it, splurge and get San Marzano canned tomatoes! The taste is absolutely incredible and just a whole lot better then any other canned tomato, it is so worth the extra money! San Marzano tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, onion, basil, salt, pepper and you’ve got yourself a delicious sauce!
The filling for these Stuffed Shells is really flavorful and kicked up a notch using some store bought, good quality pesto. Generally I’d make my own pesto but its not in season and well a delicious jarred pesto works perfectly! The filling is a mixture of ricotta, pesto, grated pecorino romano, egg, garlic powder and pepper.
The pasta shells are boiled until very al dente, or just flexible enough to stuff. A good spoonful fills the pasta shells, placed into a baking dish with some of that fab sauce and its all topped with grated pecorino and shredded mozzarella. Baked until hot, bubbly and golden. Seriously delicious!!
- 2- 28 oz can San Marzano tomatoes, pureed
- 6 garlic cloves, smashed
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- a few basil leaves
- 1 lb jumbo pasta shells
- 1- 32 oz container ricotta
- 8 oz jarred pesto
- ½ cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- salt & pepper
- a couple handfuls of shredded mozzarella
- a couple handfuls of grated pecorino romano cheese
- Lets start with the sauce. Heat a large pot over medium low heat. Add in the olive oil, garlic and onion. Cook until softened.
- Stir in the tomatoes, basil and season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer the sauce for 1 hour.
- Cook the pasta shells in boiling water about half the suggested cooking time. You want them to be rather al dente and just flexible enough to hold open so you can stuff them Drain and cool enough to handle.
- In a bowl stir together the ricotta, pesto, eggs, grated pecorino, garlic powder and a little bit of cracked pepper.
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Add enough sauce to a large baking dish to cover the bottom.
- Stuff the shells with a big spoonful of the pesto ricotta filling. Place into the baking dish.
- Once all the shells are stuffed and in the baking dish, add more sauce over top, covering the shells about halfway up the pasta. Top with some grated pecorino and shredded mozzarella.
- Bake in the oven until bubbly and golden, about 20-25 minutes.