BEST-EVER STUFFED SHELLS
Makes 8 servings
Recipe by Florence Pikrone.
1 large bunch parsley
1 garlic clove
2 pounds ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1½ tablespoons olive oil, plus more to oil the pan
½ teaspoon nutmeg
16 ounces jumbo pasta shells
4 cups Mama Picroni’s Tomato Sauce
Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Mince parsley and garlic together until it almost forms a paste. Place in a large bowl with eggs, ricotta, ½ cup of the Parmesan, olive oil and nutmeg; mix until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste (Parmesan is salty, so it will not need much salt). Cover and place in refrigerator to set.
Boil 4 to 6 quarts of salted water in a large pot. Add pasta and boil until partially cooked, about 9 minutes. Rinse with cold water and drain well. Spread out on plates to avoid sticking, separating any shells that have nestled inside others. Oil the inside of an 11-by-7-inch baking pan.
Fill each shell with the ricotta mixture, and place one layer — open side up — in the prepared pan. Cover with half of the tomato sauce and sprinkle with ¼ cup of the Parmesan. Add a second layer of the shells on top, cover with the remaining tomato sauce and the remaining ¼ cup of Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until done, 30 to 40 minutes.
PER SERVING: 559 calories, 36 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 28 g fat (12 g saturated), 150 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium