Friday, March 4, 2011

Stuffed Shells

                                      Really satisfying and perfect when it's blustery outside.

8 oz pancetta, cubed
1 yellow onion, chunked
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 pound lean ground beef
15 oz can crushed tomatoes
28 can crushed tomatoes

24 jumbo pasta shells

32 oz part skim ricotta
1 and 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan
Handful of freshly chopped basil
Salt to taste
Dash o' nutmeg
1 egg
3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Place pancetta cubes into the food processor and pulse until it is crumbled.

Add the onion

Pulse again until minced.

Sauté in a large, dry pan (no oil  needed) until cooked.

Deglaze the pan with white wine and simmer until almost evaporated, then add in the beef and sauté until no longer pink.

Add in the tomatoes (I love San Marzano tomatoes-- they are the type the pizza guys use to make sauce for pizza in Naples, Italy)

Simmer sauce for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. You may not need any, because the pancetta is salty.

While the sauce is cooking, boil the shells until just slightly under cooked (a minute or two shorter than boxed directions). Drain, rinse in cold water and drain again.

Mix the ricotta with the Parmesan, basil and nutmeg. Taste it and add salt if you like. When it tastes good and flavorful, add in the egg.

Spoon some of the sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish to cover the bottom. Stuff about 1 tablespoon of ricotta into each shell and set into the pan.

Spoon the rest of the sauce over top, pile mozzarella cheese over that and bake, covered with foil in a 350F oven for 30 minutes, remove foil and continue to bake until golden and bubbly.

This can also be made up to the point of baking and held in the fridge for up to a day before baking as above (or a smidge longer).

Serves 6-8


Braxton Blight said...

Before coming here I only had one major regret. That was that I hadn't read enough books.

Now I can add I haven't tried enough new recipes to that.

This looks fantastic and I am definitely going to make it. I gave my food processor away years ago but I do have a very sharp knife.

How To Be Perfect said...

This looks fantastic, very yummy. x