After my son was born, my husband and I eagerly abandoned the hospital. We were so, so ready to get home. It was a snowy day, and I remember driving home. We were absolutely terrified, but Eli slept soundly in the backseat.
We got to the house and Craig carried the car seat inside and set it on the floor. Our cat immediately begin howling. I think that he could sense our sheer terror. The howling woke Eli up, of course. And then the crying began. The cat scampered in the basement, and barely emerged for nearly three months I was on maternity leave.
Two hours after we got home from the hospital, a miracle arrived. Our good friends came to visit Eli. They brought food, and made us laugh. They held Eli and asked me about his birth, which I was happy to recount in dramatic fashion.
I will never forget the meal they brought. Stuffed shells and garlic bread. And gooey, thick, fudgy brownies. There is really nothing better you can do than bring a new mama warm, comforting food. We scarfed that meal, and settled in for many months of sleepless nights with our first son.
These three cheese stuffed shells are perfect for your next freezer cooking day, or to bring to a new mama! I typically make a pan to eat for dinner, and then freeze the other pan. Serve with garlic bread and a simple salad, and you have the perfect weeknight dinner!
For the shells
- 16 Jumbo Shells
- 32 ounces of ricotta cheese (whole milk or part skim)
- 8 ounces of mozarella cheese
- 1.5 cups grated parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup parsley, dried or fresh chopped
For the sauce
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 1 tsp basil
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
- Fill an 8 qt stockpot with water, and set on burner to boil. Salt the water. Add jumbo shells to boiling water and cook for 9 minutes, then drain. Shells should be partially done.
- In a medium sized saucepan, add the olive oil, onions and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes.
- While the onions and garlic are sauteing, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, and parsley into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine.
- To the sauce pan, add the marinara sauce, tomato paste, and diced/crushed tomatoes, as well as the basil. Simmer.
- When pasta is done, drain. Using 2 8x8 casserole pans, cover the bottom of each pan with tomato sauce, about ⅔rd cup. Carefully stuff each shell with the ricotta cheese mixture. There should be 8 shells to each pan. Then, cover the shells with the remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle with parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes until the tomato sauce is boiling and shells are heated through.
- Please note that this make two meals worth of stuffed shells. One for the table, and one for the freezer to enjoy at a later date! Please halve if you only would like one meal.