If there’s one thing we love, it’s pasta. Bonus points if it comes in new and unique ways. This stuffed shells recipe didn’t disappoint! Make it vegetarian by replacing the pork with the spinach, or get your veggies by serving it with a big green salad. Either way, yum!
18-20 jumbo pasta shells boil extra in case some break
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic minced
15 oz. Ricotta or cottage cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese grated
3 cups mozzarella cheese shredded and divided
2 Tablespoons cream cheese
24 ounces marinara sauce
Fresh parsley to garnish
½ tsp Salt
¼ tsp pepper
½ teaspoon dried basil
½ teaspoon dried parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Boil shells in salted water for one minute less than al dente (see package for reference). When done, drain once cooked and gently rinse with cold water until the water on the bottom comes out cool. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the ground pork and brown. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Set aside and let cool.
Place the ricotta or cottage cheese in a large bowl and add the seasonings. Stir to combine. Add half of the mozzarella cheese and most of the Parmesan, but reserve a little Parmesan to sprinkle over the top before baking. Add the cream cheese and the egg and stir to combine. Fold in the cooled pork and garlic. Pour half of the marinara sauce to the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch casserole dish. Use a spoon to fill each pasta shell with the cheese mixture and place it in the baking dish.
Using the remaining marinara sauce, pour it over the top of the shells, then sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese and Parmesan. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10 more minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned. Garnish with fresh parsley, if desired.