Saturday, March 17, 2012

Recipe 8: Stuffed Shells with Asparagus

Most of the previous recipes have been fairly meat heavy and hasn't involved pasta at all.  So in looking at my potential recipes, Stuffed Shells actually sounded really good.  I wasn't sure that I could pull it off, but I figured it would be a good recipe to try.

I also decided that I would try to make a side dish and so in addition to the stuffed shells I decided to try an aparagus recipe that sounded really good to me.

Here is the stuffed shell recipe that I used: Link

Stuffed Shells


  • 1 (12 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 (32 ounce) container ricotta cheese
  • 1 pound shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 8 ounces grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (28 ounce) jar pasta sauce
  • 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. 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.
  3. In a large bowl, mix eggs, ricotta, half the mozzarella, half the Parmesan, parsley, salt and pepper until well combined. Stuff cooked shells with ricotta mixture and place in a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together pasta sauce, mushrooms and reserved mozzarella and Parmesan. Pour over stuffed shells.
  5. Bake in preheated oven 45 to 60 minutes, until edges are bubbly and shells are slightly set.


So I wasn't really feeling the mushrooms and I decided to leave them out.  The only other change was I made the filling before I did anything else.  I then put this in the fridge and let it chill while I made the noodles and got everythign else ready.  I think this made the filling a lot easier to use.
 I also only had to cook these for 45 minutes.  60 would have been much too long.


  • 1 pound thin asparagus spears
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, or to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  2. Place asparagus on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, and toss to coat. Arrange asparagus spears in a single layer. Spread Parmesan cheese over asparagus, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until cheese is melted and asparagus is tender but crisp. Serve immediately on warm plates, sprinkling with balsamic vinegar to taste.


The only thing I did different was I used grated parmesan cheese, only because I had leftover from the shells.  I thought this was fine, but there is no real need to do this.
I let Sprinkles taste the ricotta cheese, she seemed to really enjoy it.

Here is the ricotta, parmesan and mozarella all mixed up.

After chilling the filling in the fridge I made the jumbo noodles.  Once they were done I began putting the filling in.  One of the comments on the site said to put the filling in a ziplock bag and cut a corner off, then use this to fill the shells.

This worked really really well.  There was no mess and no fuss.  It was just simple.  It was hard to really take a picture of this, but the next two kind of show it.

Once the shells were done I poured the sauce over them.  This recipe made a lot of shells, so you need at least two pans.

Here is a close up of the shells.

 While the shells were cooking I prepped the asparagus, which was pretty simple.  I just drizzled them with olive oil and then sprinkled them with the parmesan cheese.

I cooked them for slightly longer than 15 minutes, but here is what they looked like when I removed them from the oven. I had to wait to cook them until after the shells were done.

And here is the final meal:

I really enjoyed this meal.  The shells were really really good and the asparagus seemed to complement it fairly well.  Overall, I think this might be the third favorite recipe that I have made, behind the ribs and po boys.


Eric said...

Nice! Allison and I make stuffed shells occasionally. Here's one that's been on our to-do list that might be up your alley: Tacos in Pasta Shells.

Anonymous said...

Dang! Well done!
Can I come for dinner? Please?