Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Stuffed Shells is hands down my husband's favorite meal. I usually opt for the less labor intensive cavatini and use the excuse that shell noodles don't typically go on sale when the smaller shapes do. This week, when I was able to catch shell noodles on sale, I figured I would make the time to make hubby's favorite meal!

Though filling the shells is slightly time consuming, it is somewhat of a show stopper. It's a great dish for company because it's inexpensive and pretty easy, but I think people think that it is more laborious and gourmet than it actually is!

Here is the recipe:

1 big tub of cottage cheese
1 8 oz bag Italian blend cheese
About a half cup of Parmesan cheese
1 cup of thawed spinach
A few shakes of parsley, garlic, oregano and basil, salt and pepper

Before I start filling the shells, I cover the bottom of a 9x13 pan with a layer of sauce and about a half cup of water. Because the noodles are dry, I really have to make sure there is enough moisture to cook the noodles. Once I've coated the bottom of the pan, I carefully fill the dry shells with cheese mixture using either a butter knife or a baby spoon. I line them up carefully. I can usually fit about 5 across and 7 longwise. Then, I top with a generous amount of sauce. (Usually, I would use a little more sauce on this, but I ended up squeezing in a second layer this time, so I saved the bulk of the sauce for the top layer. I'd never added a second layer before, but I had half a box of noodles on hand that I figured I could use up. When I ran out of cheese, I just threw some of the empty shells on top. It worked perfectly.)

After I added my second layer, I covered with about the same amount of sauce. (I used two jars of organic Ragu.) I also added about another cup of water. This needs to bake covered at about 350 for approximately an hour and fifteen minutes (or until bubbly in the middle.) I pulled mine out about when there was about 20 minutes left, and poured another half cup or so over some of the noodles that were still looking a little dry. Here is the finished product:

It looks a little bit "sloppier" than normal since I kind of pieced the second layer together where I had space, but it still tasted great! Daddy was thrilled!

For more recipes, see Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays, Tuesdays at the Table, LifeasMom, Joy of Desserts, Grocery Cart Challenge.


  1. looks yummy and easy! i think i'll try this one out soon!

  2. anything with that much sauce has to be delicious!

  3. I love stuffed shells, this seems like a really easy recipe to do!

    ~Aubree Cherie

  4. I do this too when they are on sale -- makes them an extra special treat :)