Pesto and Ricotta Stuffed Shells


Last weekend, I made this mushroom ragout (with crimini and oyster mushrooms).  I intended to make the polenta, but I didn’t get around to it.  Instead, I made a double batch of the sauce and tossed half of it with penne.  So, this weekend, I have a batch of ragout that I either need to freeze or use.

With this in mind, I picked up some large pasta shells at the MoC, along with some cottage cheese (I sometimes like to use cottage cheese or a combination of ricotta and cottage cheese in stuffed pasta).  I had some leftover ricotta from last weekend’s  stuffed tomatoes recipe, too.  Oh, and the rest of the pesto from that particular recipe.

This dish comes together so easily: mix your cheese (ricotta, cottage, what have you),  an egg, pesto, and some Parmesan cheese (or some Italian blend).   Salt and pepper to taste. Minced garlic if you like.

Cook and drain your shells.  Don’t cook the shells all the way–you will be baking them after all, and if they are cooked completely in the boiling water, they will turn to mush in the oven.

Stuff your shells.  Top with the mushroom ragout and more Parmesan cheese.  Layer in some sautéed spinach if you feel so inclined (Remember the spinach I was going to use in my curry?  Here is where it ended up.).

Bake, in the oven, at 400 degrees until your spider senses tell you to take it out.  You should cover it for part of the cooking, and in the last several minutes (or so–nothing is exact when I cook), take the aluminum foil off and let the cheese brown and crisp.

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