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Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Cooking&Baking Challenge - Session 2 - Isabel

Cheese-stuffed pasta shells
Ever since I saw them in the United States (even though they were huge there), I’ve always wanted to try cheese-stuffed pasta shells.
To make the recipe, I’ve used several web pages (mainly, plus whatever I really needed to use in my fridge.
Here’s how it goes.

Serves about 2.

· For the shells.
-          8-12 (depends on the size) pasta shells. In these cases, it’s better to cook one or two more, just in case they break while cooking.
· For the filling.
-          1 egg, slightly beaten.
-          150 g Ricotta cheese.
-          70 g fresh Mozzarella, shredded.
-          35 g Parmesan cheese.
-          ½ tsp dried parsley.
-          ½ tsp dried oregano.
-          ½ tsp salt (depends also on the types and brands of cheese you use).
-          ¼ tsp black pepper.
· For the sauce.
-          1 medium onion, cut in brunoise.
-          2 garlic cloves.
-          400 g crushed tomatoes (1 small can).
-          ½ tsp salt
-          ¼ tsp black pepper.
-          2 tsp sugar (white).

1.       Cook pasta following the instructions, though I usually prefer al dente (much more, considering that it will be a bit baked later in the oven). Rinse (I usually add a bit of olive oil to my pasta, so that it doesn’t stick) and reserve.
2.       In a bowl, mix the Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, herbs, salt and pepper. Blend everything well and stuff the shells with them.
3.       For the sauce, sauté in olive oil 1 medium onion cut in brunoise and 2 garlic cloves, crushed. Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
4.       In an oven-proof, serving dish, coat the bottom with most of the tomato shells. Place the stuffed pasta and top with a bit of the sauce. You may also add a bit of Parmesan and bread crumbs.
5.       Cook in preheated (220ºC) oven until the cheese on top melts and is golden.

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