Thursday, January 30, 2014

Stuffed Shells With Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Pesto Cream Sauce

The last time I was at the grocery store, I bought big pasta shells on an impulse.  I know, for some people it's cookies and candy bars.  For me, it's noodles, cheese, and bread.  I get giddy at the day old bread rack.  Seriously.


Anyhoo, I didn't really have a plan, but I bought a tub of ricotta and figured I'd make it up as I went.  I had the oven-roasted tomatoes in the freezer from the summer.  I froze them flat, in a ziplock bag, so all I have to do is break off as much as I need. The pesto cream sauce was born when I made this recipe and I've been a super fan ever since, although this time, I left the cheese out of the sauce.  I figured there was enough in the filling to get my cheesy fix.  I also had the pesto in the freezer, but store-bought works.

Here's what I used:

Stuffed Shells With Oven-Roasted Tomatoes & Pesto Cream Sauce
Printable Recipe

1 box large pasta shells (manicotti would be just as delicious)
1 C shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook shells according to directions on box.  Drain and lay out on wax paper to prevent them from sticking.


Filling:

32-ounce container of ricotta
2 C shredded mozzarella
1 egg
3 cloves minced garlic
1 C oven-roasted tomatoes, chopped (you could substitute fresh tomatoes or even canned tomatoes)
Salt and pepper

Combine everything together in a large bowl, season with salt and pepper, and set aside.  You could also add in some fresh chopped parsley or basil, I just didn't have any.






Sauce:

1/4 butter
1/4 C flour
3 cloves minced garlic
4 C milk
1/2 C pesto
Salt and pepper

Melt butter over medium heat.  Saute garlic until fragrant. Stir in flour and cook five minutes. Gradually whisk in milk and cook until bubbles start to form.  Cook, stirring, another minute.  Stir in pesto.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add enough sauce to cover bottom of large baking dish.



Set up shop.  I got out my handy dandy scooper again. I told you I love that thing.




Fill noodles with ricotta mix and arrange in a single layer in the bottom of the baking dish.  





Spoon some sauce over the first layer of noodles. 


Continue filling remaining shells and place on top of first layer.  


I ran out of filling before noodles, so I just tucked the empty ones down in.




Cover everyone with the remaining sauce and sprinkle on the grated Parmesan cheese. 







Bake, covered, at 350 for 40 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.  




We had salad and bread to go with.
Here's dinner on my plate:












This dinner did not suck even a little bit.
So dang good.
It was like a hint of summer.
And bonus, it made enough for two nights.
Gotta love it when that happens.


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8 comments:

  1. Oh my. Mindy! I am a huge (literally) pasta and bread fan too. This meal looks incredible. Seriously. I'm going to write the recipe down.

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  2. Oh yeah, that looks so good! I love my scooper too - I get evenly sized cookies every time!

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  3. I'm starting to think of investing in one of those scoopers. And that pasta looks amazing. Hungry for lunch at 10:30 now.

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  4. Oh these look like heaven. This recipe would be a major cheat meal for me and it would be totally worth it! You are a cooking rockstar.

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  5. Yum to the O! These look delicious. I hate stuffing shells though.... I make a Mexican stuffed shells dish (or I should say "made" because I've only made it once because it takes so long)

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  6. Oh dear lord do these look outstanding!!! I am a carb girl myself! Throw some cheese and pasta my way and all is good! This is amazing you!!! A lovely weekend to you and the crew!!! Nicole xoxo

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  7. Yum!! I love pasta and cheese so much!! This looks great.

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  8. Galen is the brand of BGC Agriculture and Food Ltd with the aim of carrying Agean’s unique flavors. Galen foods is producing oven roasted tomato as well.

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