It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged last, I’ll chalk it up to I was doing a small bit of traveling with my wee one AND it’s finally nice in MA – so we’re outside all the time, and dinner is whatever bits of fruit and veg I can throw at my family on a plate. The other day I decided it was time, to actually cook again. Since we’ve been on a bit of a budget, I’ve been trying to find inventive ways to make old classics. So why not start with a tried and true? Stuffed Shells. I actually got this idea from my friend Colleen, who made her version of these one time when we had dinner at their place, they were marvelous, I just had to make my own.
I tend to think of stuffed shells as more of a winter dish, it’s hearty and warm, and typically deeply satisfying. So I don’t know why I actually decided to make it on one of the warmest days of the year (thus far), but I did.
I’m going to start out by saying, I’m not going to tell you how to make tomato sauce here. Maybe I will sometime, BUT, I feel when doing italian basics, most people have their own tomato recipe, so I’m going to jump over this part of the recipe. Insert your own pasta sauce, or favorite store bought. This is one of the easiest recipes I can think of…at the moment, so enjoy!
This is what you’ll need;
1 box of jumbo pasta shells
1 large container of ricotta cheese
4 scallions, washed and diced
1/2 tea salt
1/2 tea pepper
1/4 chili flakes
1 cup mozzerella cheese
3 fresh tomatoes, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
Preheat your oven to 350 F
Cook your pasta shells per box instructions, drain and set aside
Have your child mix together the ricotta and all other ingredients except the pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes.
Fill each shell with your ricotta mixture. I let Z help me with this, it’s actually a lot of fun (albeit a little messy). You just need a spoon, the shells are fairly durable and take to a lot of handling pretty well.
Drizzle olive oil in a rectangular baking dish. Place filled shells in baking dish and have your child layer with pasta sauce, then tomatoes and finally cheese.
Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until your cheese is melted and bubbly and your cheese mixture in the shells is piping hot (I use my finger to test this, there’s probably a better way to do this.
This is SUCH a child friendly dish. Easy to prepare, delicious and wonderful to share with friends (we did!).