Tuesday, July 30, 2013

It's Recipe Week! Day 2: Four Cheese Stuffed Shells and Garlic Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes

If you missed yesterday's recipe, it served as the main dish to what I'm sharing with you today.

Stuffed Shells have always been one of my favorite italian dishes. I feel like they're a bit fancier and less common than lasagna. I've made stuffed shells the same way for years, and for some reason I decided this time I would search around a little bit and see if there was a better recipe than the non-official one that's been in my head all these years.

And boy am I glad I did. I don't think I'll ever go back to my old recipe again! Rachael Ray's Four Cheese Stuffed Shells are the bomb. Plain and simple. You MUST give this recipe a try!

Keep in mind, I made this meal for eleven people, so I cooked about 60 shells. To keep it simple, I'm sharing a version that will serve 6-8 people.

1 box jumbo pasta shells
32oz. Polly-O Ricotta Cheese, part skim (I think it's the best!)
4 cups mozzarella, shredded
1/2 cup grated Locatelli parmesan cheese
1 cup Asiago cheese, shredded (I bought an 8oz. block from the deli at Publix)
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups of your favorite marinara sauce

Pre-heat oven to 450F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt water and add pasta. Undercook shells by approximately 3 minutes- they should be softened but still undercooked at the center. Drain pasta and return to pan. Cover with cold water to keep them from sticking together (you can also use a little EVOO instead).

Combine ricotta, half of mozzarella, half of parmesan, half of asiago cheese, parsley, garlic, and 1/4 tsp salt. Mix until well blended.

Pour a little sauce into the bottom of a shallow casserole dish (9x11 will work). Fill shells with cheese mixture and arrange them in the casserole dish. Top shells with remaining sauce, mozzarella, asiago, and parmesan cheese. Place shells in oven and cook for approximately 10 minutes, or until cheese melts and sauce bubbles. You can also broil for 5-7 minutes instead of baking.

Garlic Green Beans with Grape Tomatoes
These are SO easy!
3 cups frozen green beans
3 cloves garlic
10 cherry tomatoes, halved
1T butter
ground salt

Place frozen green beans in pan. Cover with water. Add garlic. Boil until tender. Drain using the lid of the pan instead of a colander so that the garlic and green beans remain in the pan and all excess water is removed. Turn on heat. Add butter and tomatoes. Cover for at least 5 minutes. The heat will make the tomatoes soften. Stir, add salt and parmesan and serve.

Hummus and veggies and Caprese Bites: recipe here

Strawberry Cheesecake- thank you Costco. :)

Making first-house memories
in our "dining room" that's designed for serving six, not eleven. ;)

Tally was spoiled by our guests (he is definitely not allowed on laps at the table, but what can you do?!)

Family Picture ;)

Tomorrow I'll be sharing a pasta recipe that I came up with using the leftovers from the Caprese Bites. It's a spin-off of this recipe and WAY better! Can I say that?

Don't forget to enter the FREE BLOG DESIGN giveaway!! The winner will be announced a week from today!


  1. yum again! you are such an amazing cook! looks like such a fun night!
    i love your green and white dress! and the family photo :)

  2. Thanks for sharing the awesome recipes! :)