Introduction: DIY Stuffed Shell Pasta
Every Friday, our hackerspace, The Rabbit Hole, gets together and the foodies in the group get together to make dinner for everyone. This past Friday we decided to make stuffed shell pasta and apparently it was so good that people felt like crying because with each bite, they were closer to the end!
So we felt like sharing and hope you enjoy it as well!
- Large pasta shells (4-5 per person will be more than adequate)
- Tomato based pasta sauce (1 jar per ~7 people)
- Italian sausage (1lb per ~7 people)
- Ricotta cheese (16oz per ~7 people)
- Shredded mozzarella cheese (1 8oz bag per ~7 people)
- 1 onion (to taste)
- 1 egg
- Garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, dried oregano (to taste)
- Optional: Fresh parsley, fresh rosemary, fresh tarragon (to taste)
- Pot, Pan, Mixing bowl, plate!
Step 1: Prep the Ingredients!
- You'll want to get a pot of water boiling for the pasta shells.
- While that boils, pre-heat the oven to 375F and get your sausage ready to cook!
- You can use Jimmy Dean style tube sausage, but we were on a budget so we used Italian sausage links and cut the casing so that we could get the meat cooked into small sized pieces.
Step 2: The Insides of the Stuffed Shell!
- Saute the sausage and add the chopped onion to let it cook down.
- You can add the fresh tarragon and fresh rosemary if you would like
Once the sausage has been cooked place it into a large mixing bowl. In the mixing bowl, you want to add:
- the ricotta cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- half a bag of shredded mozzarella
- basil and oregano
For the spices, we used a "it looks good" way of measurement. Clearly, you don't want to go overboard, but the recipe is very forgiving :). What you do want is to have a good proportion between the ricotta cheese and sausage. For vegetarians, just don't add sausage and use the rest of the ingredients as filling.
Step 3: Stuff the Shells
By this time, the shells will have finished cooking - drain and set on a plate. Using a spoon, put the mix into the shells. Make sure to fill the shells with the yummy mix!
You'll want to get your pan - we used nonstick 9x9s and 9x13 pans - and put some pasta sauce in the bottom, a couple of spoonfuls spread around should do it! This helps keep the shell from burning to the bottom and/or getting too dry.
As you fill the shells, put them into the pan. There is no ideal arrangement but don't stack them.
Step 4: Cover Your Stuffed Shells!
Using a spoon, put a spoonful of pasta sauce on each shell. Once all of them have been covered with pasta sauce, scatter shredded mozzarella over the shells. Let it snow!
Then put it into the oven for 10-15 minutes. Essentially until the mozzarella on the top melts.
Step 5: Enjoy!
Once the cheese has melted, take them out and enjoy!
A good portion size is 3 shells, a filling portion is 4 shells, and a growing boy will probably do well with 5 shells!
The abridged version of this recipe, just to show you how easy it is:
1) Cook Pasta
2) Mix sausage, spices that look good, and ricotta cheese
4) Stuff shells, put in pan.
5) Put sauce on top, mozzarella over that and bake at 375 for 15 minutes - voila!