Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stuffed Shells

I am in love with Cook's Country cooking magazines! And these stuffed shells are one of my favorites! They are truly a must try! the balsamic gives it the perfect touch!

Marinara Sauce:
2T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4tea. red pepper flakes
1/4C. red wine
2T. balsamic vinegar
2 (28oz) cans crushed tomatoes
1C low-sodium chicken broth
2T. dried basil (fresh will blacken and loose flavor as its simmered)
2tea. sugar
1/2 tea. salt

Stuffed Shells:
1 (12oz) box jumbo pasta shells
3C ricotta
1C grated Parmesan (fresh grated is best!)
3C shredded mozzarella
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 C finely chopped fresh basil (if you substitute with dried, remember to half the amount!)
2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks, lightly beaten

1. For the sauce: heat oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in large saucepan over med heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. add wine and vinegar and simmer until reduced by half, about 2 minutes. stir in tomatoes, broth, basil, sugar, and salt and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. Set aside.

2. For the shells: cook the shells in boiling water with some salt. drain. set aside.

3. For the shell filling: combine ricotta, Parmesan, 1.5 cups mozzarella, garlic, basil, eggs, and 1/2teaspoon in bowl.

4. get two 8 inch pans. spray with pam. put some sauce in each pan, just enough to cover bottoms {about 1.5-2 cups}. fill the shells with the cheese filling. {i use an ice cream scoop and fill shells about half way} line filled shells in the pans, seam side up. top the shells with another 1.5-2 cups marinara per pan. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 degrees until sauce is bubbling and shells are heated through, about 40-50 minutes. Remove foil and top shells with remaining sauce and mozzarella cheese. bake until cheese is spotty brown, about 10 minutes.


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