I’ve been making these for a long time, but have finally tweaked them to the point that Bo both and I love them. Please understand that this is quite the feat, especially in a cheesy dish.
A second great thing about this, the recipe is big enough to make 8 servings, which means that I bake half of it right away, and freeze the second half. I LOVE getting two meals with the prep of one, especially when these bake up so well in a month or two.
What I’m trying to say is this: MAKE THESE SHELLS!
I should also say that if this sounds like I’m forcing it, I’m not. I’m not forcing the greatness of these shells, I’m forcing myself to type this post on only 2 hours of sleep because my kids are out to get me (I think). And this is after only 4 hours last night. I may be turning zombie.
Let’s get to it though! This is a REALLY easy dish to make.
Get some water boiling and cook your shells according to package directions. Take them out when still a little al dente though so they don’t break as easily when handling them, and rinse them under cold water when you drain them so that they’re easier to hold.
If you have a food processor, grate the mozzarella cheese into the processor, then take out what you need for later and switch to the blade, then you just add the rest of the ingredients (cottage cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, garlic powder, dried oregano, dried parsley and black pepper), and mix it all together. If you don’t, or if like me yours broke the morning you were going to make this, throw the ingredients in a bowl and mix them together with your hand mixer.
If I could vent for a moment, I was not a very happy person this day. In the course of two weeks my stand mixer, food processor and hand mixer ALL broke, and with Christmas, and now saving for the family holiday, I don’t see a new processor in my near future…I’ve really got to call and see about replacement parts.
Alright, back to cooking, here’s the mixed up filling!
Now, throw the filling into a large zip-lock bag.
Then cut one corner of the bag off, you want about a half-inch to one inch opening.
Hold the shell in one hand, and use the bag to pipe in the filling. SO easy! Don’t be shy with the filling either, make them nice and full.
Spread half a jar of sauce in the bottom of each dish, then lay out the shells (16 per container).
Come on, they look good already!
Now, drizzle the remaining sauce on top of the shells, then top with the reserved mozzarella cheese.
Cover them up with foil, then put one in the freezer if you’re doing that (be sure to double wrap that one with foil), and throw the other one in a 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, removing the foil after 20.
These labels: I’ll get them up in downloads on Saturday. These are working incredibly well for me, and I’ve got two different sizes depending on how long the instructions are. These are the small ones, you just need the avery labels to print them out on. I have a black/white version too so you don’t kill your colour ink on some labels. I’m a big fan of the use by date. I’ll get a listing of recommended freezer limits by food up to references soon for you too.
Ta Da! A thing of beauty.
Throw some of the extra sauce on the plate, then top it with four of the shells.
That garlic bread in the background is pretty great too, I’ll get it up shortly!
Here’s your printable:
- 1 package jumbo shells
- 1 container cottage cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1 container ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
- 1 (500g) block of mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- ½ tsp pepper, or to taste
- 2 jars spaghetti sauce
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF with a rack in the middle position.
- Get water boiling and cook the shells according to package directions, but take out was al dente and run under cold water when straining to make easier to handle and less likely to tear during filling.
- While the pasta is cooking, mix up your filling. In a medium bowl mix together the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, one third of the mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, eggs, garlic powder, oregano, parsley and pepper until uniform and well combined. Pour the filling into a large zip-lock bag and then cut the corner off of one side to use as a piping bag.
- Pour half a jar of sauce into the bottom of each dish. Holding the shell in one hand, pipe a generous amount of filling into each shell, then sit on top of the sauce. Top the shells with the remaining sauce (half a jar per dish again), then cover with the reserved mozzarella cheese.
- Cover the dishes with foil, then bake for 40 minutes, removing the foil after 20 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.