The Life of Jennifer Dawn: Stuffed Pasta Shells

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Stuffed Pasta Shells

These Stuffed Pasta Shells made with RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce are an easy and hearty meal to prepare for your family.
Years ago my mom and sister complied some of our family's favorite recipes into a cookbook. This is one that made the book! It was a recipe given to my mom from a friend who being married into an Italian family has mastered the art of Italian cooking. My mom's friend may not call herself a "master" but anyone who makes their own pasta noodles from scratch is a master in my book. Don't worry. You won't have to make your own noddles for this recipe though. I use boxed noodles and one of the Homestyle Thick and Hearty Sauces from RAGÚ® that is so thick it seems to hug every noodle. I've also made a few slight adjustments to the original recipe with some ingredient substitutions and my own tips and tricks in the directions.

When preparing this recipe, I use any broken or extra noodles with some of the RAGÚ® Homestyle sauce to make a plate for my youngest who has a severe dairy allergy. This provides him with a dairy-free meal and he's still able to enjoy pasta--one of his favorites--with the rest of the family. That is one of the many things I love about the RAGÚ® Homestyle sauces. With the exception of the one sauce with cheese, they are milk-free which means my little guy can enjoy them too!
Want to know the best part about this recipe? It is a great make-ahead meal. You can prepare it the night before or in the morning and put it in the refrigerator until you're ready to bake it in the oven for dinner. I made this batch earlier in the day and then popped it in the oven after we got back from taking my daughter to dance class that evening. If you plan on enjoying it more than a day in the future, it also makes a delicious freezer meal. Prepare it in a tray and cover the dish with foil and freezer wrap to bake at a later time. Thaw it in the refrigerator and bake it when you're ready to enjoy. It's that easy!

From our family cookbook to yours, here's a delicious recipe for stuffed pasta shells that's sure to be a BIG hit with your family at dinner!

Recipe: Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ingredients

  • 1 jar Ragu Homestyle Sauce (*Optional: A second jar of sauce.)
  • 1 box jumbo pasta shells
  • olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 15 oz. container ricotta cheese
  • 4 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • fresh parsley (chopped)
  • salt and pepper
Directions
  1. Crack the egg into a large mixing bowl and beat it with fork.
  2. Add the ricotta cheese and combine with the egg.
  3. Mix in the other cheeses, bread crumbs, and parsley. Salt and pepper to your preferences and stir once more.
  4. Cook the jumbo pasta shells in a large pot of water. Add oil and salt as you would when cooking other pastas. Undercook the shells slightly.
  5. Drain the shells and drizzle with a small amount of olive oil to keep them from sticking.
  6. Use a spoon to fill the shells with the cheese mixture. Place the stuffed shells in rows in a large glass or ceramic baking pan.
  7. Pour the jar of sauce over the stuffed shells making sure to cover all of them.
  8. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes.
*Optional: After the dish has baked, top it with extra sauce and cheese before serving.

For more delicious pasta recipes that use RAGÚ® Homestyle sauces, be sure to visit the Ragu Recipe Page. Oh, and don't forget to check out my family's recipe for Homestyle Goulash.

Happy cooking!
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