Monday, April 24, 2017

Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Cherry Tomato Sauce


 As summer approaches, I start to plan my garden and two of my favorite things to grow are tomatoes and basil. Obviously these items are available year round, but there's something about picking them fresh out in the hot sun that makes the flavor so much better. This recipe celebrates those flavors - basil and parsley amplify the creamy ricotta filling and the sweet pan-roasted tomatoes add the perfect pop of freshness on top! This is definitely a recipe you will be hanging onto to use during the hot summer months.


1. Cook shells according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water to cool. 

2. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, milk, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stuff each shell with 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place in the baking dish. 



3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced and the tomatoes start to break down, about 5-7 minutes longer. Pour the sauce over the shells, cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 






4. Let the shells sit for 5 minutes, then scoop onto plates and serve. 



Herbed Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Cherry Tomato Sauce
Serves 4

All you need:
16 jumbo shells, uncooked
15 oz. ricotta cheese 
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons milk
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced 
2 tablespoons chopped parsley 
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups cherry tomatoes (I used a combo of red and orange ones)
1/2 cup white wine
5 fresh basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Pinch crushed red pepper
Pinch sugar

All you do:
1. Cook shells according to package instructions. Drain and run under cold water to cool. 
2. Preheat oven to 375. Coat a 13x9 pan with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, milk, egg, onion, garlic, parsley, basil, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Stuff each shell with 2 tablespoons of the mixture and place in the baking dish. 
3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine, basil, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and sugar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the wine has reduced and the tomatoes start to break down, about 5-7 minutes longer. Pour the sauce over the shells, cover the pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 
4. Let the shells sit for 5 minutes, then scoop onto plates and serve. 
 

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