- 1 h 50 min
- Kcal 192
Stuffed pasta shells with tomato sauce and a creamy filling combines the delicate taste of ricotta cheese with the appetizing flavor of meat sauce. Shells are a shape of pasta that sets off the imagination: it can be filled with any sorts of ingredients seasoned with a simple yet delicious tomato sauce, as in this recipe, or with a vegetable sauce or plain with a creamy bechamel sauce. Patiently stuffed one by one, these shells will be filled to the last one and, all the effort will be rewarded once all the guests will taste this recipe!
To prepare the stuffed pasta shells, start with the sauce. Peel and chop the onion in the mixer (1-2), or cut it finely with a knife. Then pour it into a saucepan together with a drizzle of oil 3 and turn the heat on.
Cook for about ten minutes over low heat, then add the tomato puree 4. Add the salt, let it cook covered with the lid 5, for at least 45 minutes. The sauce should not be too dry, or you can add a little water to adjust the consistency. In the meantime, cut the mozzarella and make 6-7 thin slices and the rest of it into small cubes 6. Put in a colander and let it drain.
Then start to prepare the meat: add a drizzle of oil and a clove of garlic to another pan, leave to flavor for a few minutes over medium heat and then add the beef 7 and pork 8. Turn up the flame and brown for about ten minutes until the bottom is dry, stirring often so it does not burn. Put a pot full of water on the burner which will be used to cook the pasta. When it comes to a boil, salt it. Once the meat sauce is dry, remove the garlic clove 9.
Blend with red wine 10 and let it evaporate completely. Finally add a pinch of salt 11 and let the liquids evaporate before turning the ehat off 12; pour into a bowl and set aside.
It's time to cook the pasta in the boiling salted water 13. Take care to drain it exactly halfway through the cooking time indicated on the package. Then put the pasta back in the pan, pour a little oil 14 on it and stir, taking care not to break the shells. Pour onto a tray to cool 15.
At this point you can start preparing the filling. Sieve the ricotta into a bowl 16 and then add the meat 17, the grated cheese 18,
the beaten egg 19, salt and pepper 20, now drain the mozzarella 21
and just add the cubes to the filling, leaving the slices aside 22. Mix everything well 23 and choose whether to fill the pasta with a teaspoon, one shell at a time, or use a sac à poche as we did. Take a baking pan, spread a layer of tomato sauce at the bottom 24.
As you fill the shells, place them inside the pan 25. Once all the shells are stuffed, cover them with the tomato sauce 26 and place the slices of mozzarella 27 on top.
Season with grated cheese 28 and ground pepper to taste 29. Bake in a preheated oven at 415° F (220° C) for about 20 minutes plus a few minutes on grill to brown the surface. Your stuffed shells are done, wait a few minutes before serving 30!
The stuffed shells can be refrigerated for up to 2 days; it's better not to freeze them. You can prepare a few things the day before, such as the sauce and the ground meat cooked in a pan, while the complete filling is best prepared just before stuffing the shells.
Try different cheeses to prepare your stuffed shells, such as scamorza cheese, white or smoked, or caciocavallo cheese. For ricotta cheese: we have used one made from cow's milk, which is rich and savoury, or you can use the one produced from sheep's milk, which is more acidulous. Instead of ground pork you can also add diced sweet pancetta or crumbled sausage meat. Finally, another tasty variant is the plain version without tomato sauce: just flavor it with creamy béchamel sauce!