Thursday, January 6, 2022

Spicy Pesto Stuffed Shells

Spicy Pesto Sauced Stuffed Shells

Karri Perry | Blue Ribbon Favorites 



1 box Jumbo Pasta Shells

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

3 cloves minced garlic

1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1-25 ounce jar prepared marina sauce (use your favorite brand)

3 Tablespoons Pesto-(store bought is fine, a 7-ounce refrigerated container works well)

1 cup heavy cream 

1/4 cup vodka



14-ounce Ricotta Cheese-whole or skim

1/2 cup Parmesan grated

2 cups divided Mozzarella Cheese-grated

3 Tablespoons Pesto

1 large egg


In a large oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, add oil and onions.  Cook for 5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Add red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Stir together for 1 minute or until fragrant.  

Add marinara sauce.

Add the pesto, stir together. Bring to a simmer.

Add the heavy cream and vodka, stir together. Allow the sauce to simmer for at least 15 minutes while boiling pasta shells and preparing filling.

For Shells: In a large pot, fill with water and boil 20-25

Jumbo Shells-boil for about 9 minutes—Following package instructions; boil until softened but still a little firm-Al dente.  (Overcooked shells-that are too soft and flimsy are hard to fill, break and tear easily) Drain shells and set aside to await filling. 


Stir together in a medium bowl

14 ounces Ricotta cheese

1/2 Parmesan cheese-grated

1 cup Mozzarella cheese-grated

3 Tablespoons pesto 

1 large egg-lightly beaten with fork.

After cheese filling is mixed together, transfer to a medium zip-top bag.   Snip the bottom corner of the bag  (creating about a 1 inch opening) when ready to fill the cooked shells. 

Gently squeeze the filling into each shell.

Place each filled shell into the waiting sauce-filling side up. Once pan is filled with stuffed shells, cover and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes, remove cover, add the remaining 1 cup of grated mozzarella, sprinkling the cheese over the shells and sauce. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes more, to melt and lightly brown the cheese.  Top with fresh basil if desired. Enjoy!!

  • No skillet? No problem.  Transfer sauce to a large buttered 9x13 casserole dish with deep sides.  Then add the stuffed shells in rows—cover and bake as directed.

  • If you prefer a meat sauce, brown 1 lb. of ground beef, or ground Italian sausage, or ground turkey or chicken.  Brown your choice of meat with the onions and oil, and continue on with the sauce as directed.

  • If you have a little leftover pesto, slice open a loaf of Italian bread, spread on a layer of pesto, a little butter and cheese. Place on a baking sheet and warm the bread in the oven during the last 15 minutes of baking for a scrumptious addition to your meal. 

No comments:

Post a Comment