Thursday, August 26, 2010

Stuffed Shells

I made this last night for dinner. I used some leftover marinara sauce that I had frozen. If you're in a hurry, use a good jarred marinara sauce and add some fresh garlic, basil, and extra virgin olive oil to it. If you don't have prosciutto or pancetta, you can use any well flavored ham. Don't be afraid to adjust the filling to your liking. If you don't have ham, leave it out. In fact, you could use the manicotti filling if you want an entirely vegetarian filling.

To serve 3-4:
Filling
1-2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prosciutto or pancetta, diced fine
1 garlic glove, chopped fine
1/4 purple onion, chopped fine
1/2-1 Cup frozen chopped spinach, partially defrosted 1/2 container ricotta
1/2 cup parmesean, grated (Use good parmigiano reggiano)
1/4 Cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
ground black pepper
1 egg

Saute pancetta or prosciutto in olive oil until light brown.  Add onion and garlic. Add spinach and saute until all the water has cooked away and the mixture begins to stick slightly.  Cool slightly and mix in the remaining ingredients except the egg. Taste. Correct seasonings--it should be highly flavored. Mix in egg.

Marinara sauce
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped fine
3 garlic cloves, chopped fine
2 cans chopped tomatoes, pureed
1/2 can tomato paste
salt, pepper
2 tsp dried basil
2 tbl fresh basil, chopped (optional)

Saute onion & garlic w/ a sprinkle of salt in oil until onion is translucent. Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, and dried basil. Let cook until thick. Add fresh basil. Taste & add more salt and pepper if necessary.

Preheat oven to 350

Assembly
1/2 pck shells, cooked and drained
filling
marinara
1/2 cup parmesean, grated

Fill each shell and place in a greased baking dish. Top with marinara sauce & more parmesean. Bake, covered for 30 minutes, remove top & bake 15 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving

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