Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stuffed Shells

He was eating blueberries in this picture. They are his favorite. We have been picking twice so far in 8 days. Both times we came home with two buckets. Oh, and he brought his hat to me and asked me to put it in him. Jared and he have matching sock monkey hats. 
He also ate diaper cream today while I was in the bathroom. Who knew he was tall enough to reach in his changing table drawers? Thankfully, he only ate a bit and hasn't shown any signs of problems.  What a baby. He also learned to climb on furniture this week.  Life is becoming so fun! 

Today I thought, stuffed shells would be really good. I have tried several recipes, but none of them have been my favorite. I tried a version from America's Test Kitchen today (surprise surprise) and loved them!! The fresh basil is definitely a must.  I picked mine from my yard (woohoo, for fresh herbs). Also, I cut the garlic way back because my babies never like garlic. The real recipe calls for 3 cloves and I put in 1/2 a clove. 

Note: I didn't measure everything perfectly, so don't feel like you have to measure exact amounts. I grated about 8 oz of cheese, but it could have been a bit more or less. I had a partial can of diced tomatoes leftover from another recipe and I used that with some water for the sauce.  

Sauce Ingredients
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 T olive oil
1/2 garlic clove
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 T fresh basil chopped 

Filling ingredients
1-1/2 pounds (3 cups) ricotta
8 oz (2 cups) mozzarella shredded
4 oz Parmesan (2 cups)
2 large eggs
2 T chopped basil
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

30 shells or 16 lasagna noodles cooked
(ATK suggests putting filling on the lasagna noodles and rolling the noodles up - this was originally a recipe for manicotti and they found it was easier than stuffing the tubes)

1. Pulse tomatoes and juice in blender or food processor until smooth (or coarsely chopped if you like bits of tomato - I don't). 
2. Heat olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes in pan about a minute. Add tomatoes and a dash of salt. Cook until thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in basil and salt to taste. 
3. Combine all filling ingredients. 
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spread 1-1/2 cup sauce in bottom of pan. Spread cheese in the shells. Place shells in pan. Pour extra sauce on top. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. 

Note: I sprinkle extra mozzarella over the top, they suggest to sprinkle Parmesan and then broil it at the end to get it nice and melted. 

I don't know why these pictures are blurry when I upload them sometimes.  I have posted the picture of Martin to make up for it. Ha ha. 

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