Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stuffed Pasta Shells

Stuffed Pasta Shells
Stuffed Pasta Shells

Now folks this sounds like a really complex recipe that is in reality fairly simple! I discovered this recipe when I first started freezer cooking! It is great to make up in double or triple batches, freeze the shells and then just pull out as needed! I will give more detailed instructions later.

Teenager #1 (AKA Lil' Sis) and Teenager #2 (my step daughter) LOVE this recipe! Since Teenager #2 happens to be visiting for Spring Break, I made this special for her! It's like comfort food for these two!

Also let me warn you...unless you are feeding a big group...this recipe makes enough for more than one meal. I used half this recipe for dinner tonight and made the other half for a friend of mine (she just loves my freezer meals!!)

Let's get started....
First you need a big pot of spaghetti sauce....add meat if you like... We had Spaghetti for supper the night before so I just used what was left over and added an extra jar of sauce.

Then you need to gather up your remaining ingredients. Go ahead and put on a big pot of water to boil for the pasta!

You will need Jumbo Shells, Mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, Cottage or Ricotta Cheese, an egg, pepper and some Italian Seasoning.

Put you pasta shells on to boil...follow the instructions on the side of the box...we will come back to them in a minute.

Mix your carton of cottage cheese (use ricotta sometimes just all depends on what you like or what you have on hand), about 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, 1 cup of Parmesan cheese, the egg, 1 tablespoon of Italian Seasoning and 1 teaspoon of pepper. Stir this all up good and set aside until your pasta is ready.

Drain your pasta and rinse with cold water. This keeps the pasta from sticking together and cools it so that you can handle it easily....our hands are fixing to get messy!

Put a layer of spaghetti sauce in your favorite baking dish.

Fill each shell with your cheese filling. Now this can get kinda the ones that are rolled up have to be held open with one hand while you stuff with the other...hence the getting our hands messy part.
Now at this point you can do two can place this shell in the prepared baking dish....or you can put it on a jelly roll pan and flash freeze it for later. When I make a big batch I flash freeze these then package them in meal size portions in Ziploc bags for later use....a little spaghetti sauce and some cheese and you have a nice meal!

All filled and ready for the next step!

Cover with more spaghetti sauce....depending on how your family likes spaghetti sauce depends on how thick you want to cover your you can see that's my families favorite part! Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes!

***Flash Freezing Instructions.
To flash freeze pasta shells, cook pasta according to package directions and fill with cheese filling. Place in a single layer on a jelly roll pan. Place in freezer for 1 to 2 hours...or until frozen hard. Remove from jelly roll pan and place in freezer bags. (3 shells is considered a serving)

To use....Remove from freezer and defrost in the refrigerator. Place in a baking dish on top of a layer of spaghetti sauce. Top with more spaghetti sauce and grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

God Bless, Mama D

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