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Ricotta & Pesto Stuffed Shells

by Emma on February 28, 2011

in Dinner

hello, darling. did you miss me? i bet you did.

i have, apparently, decided i am not capitalizing anything in this post… hmm.

i can't quite remember what inspired me to make this dish. i probably saw a picture of Manacotti somewhere during the week and it stuck with me.

and that, my friends, is the power of advertising. probably. i'm not sure, as i don't really remember.

but all week i was jonesing for some cheesy stuffed shell pasta. i like cheese, but i also like a lot of flavor in my pasta dishes. so i decided to make a homemade pesto to mix in with the ricotta in this dish. it was a big hit with my family so i'm going to go ahead and call this one a success. like a B+ or so. my only regret is i should have made more sauce. 

i always want more sauce. it's a thing with me. i pretty much want soup with my pasta. is that so wrong… i think not.

for the pesto i used: 1/4 cup spinach, 5-6 fresh basil leaves, a handful (maybe 1/8 cup) blanched almond slivers, 2-3 tablespoons minced garlic, juice from 1/2 lemon and 4-5 tablespoons olive oil.

just stick all the ingredients in the food processor, pulse and you got pesto!

combine the pesto with 10-12 ounces of ricotta cheese to make the filling.

cook a box of large shell pasta according to the directions. drain, rinse and let them cool enough to be handled. then place the shells in a casserole dish and fill with the pesto filling.

now top with a tomato sauce. you can make your own or use a store bought variety that you prefer. i made mine using this recipe (minus the cream and onion). then top with a little mozzarella cheese and bake at 350 F for 15-18 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

i served this along with some Olive Baguettes (recipe will be shared later this month via a guest post) but i also think this would be a great dinner paired with a simple salad.

xo. emma


Jacci Hall February 28, 2011 at 6:21 am

you’re not alone with your passion for soupy pasta, it’s how i like it too. i’m making this lovely looking pasta of your for meat free monday tonight. thank you :)

DaddyDonnie February 28, 2011 at 7:59 am

This was soooo good! I just loved it and want more……………more I tell you, more………….

kate February 28, 2011 at 8:50 am

it’s not even 10am and you are making me drool! i will be making this later on in the week… i LOVE the pesto + red sauce combo! (and yes, LOTS of red sauce!!)

jooleedoh February 28, 2011 at 9:11 am

i recently found out that i love pesto! so i must try out this recipe soon. ohhh yes!

lauren February 28, 2011 at 10:46 am

I DID miss you :) thanks for sharing this looks great!

Beth February 28, 2011 at 11:36 am

Looks FAB! May have to rearrange the weekly menu to fit this in for this week! And, yes, I did miss you. Don’t stay gone so long!

eeny February 28, 2011 at 1:06 pm

This looks yummy, Emma. I love Ricotta and Pesto so this sounds perfect. Thanks for sharing.

Amanda February 28, 2011 at 4:41 pm

It was fate!!!! I already planned on making stuffed shells for dinner NOW I’m going to make them with pesto! Brillant! Gotta go cook now!

Kellie February 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm

these look SO good!

Rachel March 1, 2011 at 5:12 am

That looks delicious. Can’t wait for the olive bread recipe

Kaitlyn March 1, 2011 at 9:48 pm

well, now I want to make this! *goes to make shopping list…*

Erin March 1, 2011 at 11:08 pm

I’m totally making this. My husband loves this kind of food. Thanks for sharing!

Ally March 3, 2011 at 6:36 pm

We made this last night, except used lots of chopped spinach and basil and garlic instead of the pesto, and a store-bought passatta instead of homemade sauce. I’m going to be eating it for days! SO amazing.

Fevervignettes March 9, 2011 at 8:01 pm

We had this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. Thanks!

Ami Marie March 10, 2011 at 2:16 pm

Made these for dinner last night! They turned out just delicious… and made plenty of leftovers for lunch today! :)

Julie @White Lights on Wednesday February 23, 2012 at 9:21 pm

I just found your blog today. I’m loving it. Your recipes sound delicious. I can’t wait to start trying them out. :)