Stuffed Shells with Pesto Sauce
This is a basic stuffed shell filling and process with my mother’s pesto recipe.
I decided to share this recipe as it attracted a lot of attention on my facebook page. The idea for this dish came when my husband came home one day after work and declared that he would like to eat more pesto. After having tried a sandwich with pesto on it during his lunch break and realizing he really enjoyed it. No problem. I've always liked pesto but I'm also very picky about it and what I think makes a "good" pesto. Call me biased but I love my mother’s recipe, it’s creamy, smooth, perfect as both a sauce or spread, and totally quick and easy to make. She used this pesto recipe on a pizza back when she had her restaurant and that's when I fell in love with it! Remembering that I found pesto to be irresistible with ricotta cheese the idea to make stuffed shells or manicotti with a pesto sauce immediately popped into my head. I of course hit up Pinterest to find such a recipe but honestly couldn't find any dish quite like the one I was imagining. So I decided to just create it myself :) It came out amazing and the husband more than approves. Definitely a quick and easy go-to dish in our home. Enjoy!
*Tip: I recently discovered Sorrento’s Galbani ricotta cheese and I just want to say it is amazing! So so creamy and delicious making your dish over the top good. I highly recommend it!
Moms Pesto Sauce
2 cups/bunches Basil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 vegetable oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 clove garlic
Directions: Place the basil leaves in a food processor and pulse several times. Add the garlic and cheese and pulse several times more. While the food processor is running, slowly add the oils in a steady stream. * This will help it to emulsify and keep the oils from separating
Occasionally stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor.
Add salt and ground black pepper
*Basil pesto darkens when exposed to air, so to store, cover tightly with plastic wrap making sure the plastic is touching the top of the pesto. The pesto will stay greener longer that way
1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
1 tablespoon dried parsley
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
8 ounce grated parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
*I like to add a small splash of heavy cream just to make it extra creamy (this is totally optional and not at all necessary)
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. * I find it helpful to oil a baking pan and place the pasta shells, spaced out, open side up on the pan to cool slightly and so they don’t stick together
In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, half the mozzarella, half the grated cheese, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined. Stuffed cooked shells with ricotta mixture and place in a 9x13 inch backing dish or your dish of choice. Top with the remaining mozzarella, grated cheese, and pour pesto sauce over stuffed shells
Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes, until edges are bubbly and shells are slightly set. Plate and enjoy!
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