Some couples get “his and hers” bathrobes, some couples get “his and hers” bicycles and some even get “his and hers” pets! In my house we get “his and hers” dinners!
Okay not really…
I really just made a little one for the freezer since I have trouble cooking for less than 20 people. I often wrap and freeze for future dinners when I am cooking. It saves lots of time later on those nights when you just don’t feel like doing anything more than turning on the oven. And of course this is an easy dinner for “Mr. Cabinet Stew” to make on his own.
Conchiglie (shell shaped pasta)
An oldie but a goodie; this came as a rainy Sunday dinner request from my husband recently. As far as I could read, stuffed shells are a post World War II invention and are one of the few (if only) pastas that are machine made – no hand-made option. The filling is commonly creamy cheeses (ricotta, etc) and greens (spinach, etc) and it is usually baked in a simple fresh-style marinara sauce.
My filling was very simple and consisted of only 5 ingredients. I used a 12 oz package of shells and made the two dishes above plus another dish with 10 shells. I also had some “broken shells” that didn’t make it through par-boil and cooling for the cook to enjoy just hot, plain, buttered and delicious.
32 ounces of part-skim Ricotta
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese (use Parmesan if you want)
1 large/jumbo egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp black pepper, fine grind
1/2 cup (+/-) fresh torn or chiffonade basil leaves
Mix all together and stuff into freshly boiled shells when shells are cool enough to handle. (Follow package directions for boiling) Each shell will take 2 generous tablespoons (+/-) of filling. Don’t skimp. Place in baking dish filled a 1/4 of the way with fresh, simple marinara sauce. Add optional sausage. Add sauce until it comes just below the level of the shells. Bake 375 degrees 30 minutes, uncovered. At 20 minutes add some shredded mozzarella on top if you want a cheesey, gooey dish. Add additional grated cheese if you want to keep it simple. Add none if you want to keep the calories lower.
Note: I didn’t use any salt because the Romano is pretty salty on its own, but a tsp of salt would not be bad if you wanted a more “seasoned” filling.