Thursday, October 13, 2011

Italian Stuffed Shells - Pasta of the Month

It's that time again, pasta of the month - October.  I couldn't let the day pass without honoring my hubby with this great meal.  Happy Birthday, my man, and many more.

Creme brulee in Italy 5 years ago!

Truth be told this is not his birthday dinner.  It came from the archives of "not posted yet".   This amazing stuffed shells recipe is a special dish you can serve to your guests! 

  When I was a working girl, I confess, I actually had these delivered to my door from a frozen food supplier.  They were good, but not exceptionally good like homemade.  I thought these would be time consuming, but if you use prepared sauce they are relatively easy and quick.

Let's pretend I used ready made sauce from a jar.  (I didn't, but it's not a bad idea to streamline the recipe..)  Therefore, I won't give you the sauce recipe, this time...still working on the perfect marinara/bolognese sauce!  I promise, you will impress your guests as this dish comes out of the oven all cheesy and bubbly!


about 3 cups of sauce (your choice) HINT: I used to saute Italian sausage and garlic to add to the store bought sauce

about 16 large pasta shells

For the filling:

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 handful chopped Italian parsley

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 cup thinly sliced mushrooms

1 1/2 cup cubed eggplant

2-3 basil leaves chopped

ricotta cheese (15 oz container)

1 egg

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

For the topping:

1 handful chopped parsley

1 cup grated mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Boil water for the pasta shells, salting it as it starts to boil.  Cook them according to directions, al dente.

In a skillet, heat the oil, add onion,  mushrooms and eggplant and cook until soft.  In a bowl put the ricotta, basil,  parsley and eggplant mixture.  Add the egg and Parmesan and mix well.

Stuffed and ready to bake

Drain and cool the shells and stuff with the mixture.  In a 9x11 baking dish spread about 1/2 cup of sauce on the bottom.   Place the shells in a baking dish and  pour the remaining  sauce over the top, then add the mozzarella cheese and additional parsley.  Bake for about 25 minutes, allow to cool slightly and serve.    This dish will freeze well before the cooking process so you can make days ahead and enjoy your guests!

Cheesy and Bubbly!!  Yum!


  1. One of my favorites, the shells are easier to stuff than the manicotti tubes and look more decoritive. Now I need to try the eggplant, maybe Tom won't notice. Sue

  2. Roast it first, then puree it. He'll never notice!