Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Stuffed Shells in White Sauce

I can never get tired of pasta.  You can do so much with it.  Today sharing stuffed pasta shells.

24 large pasta shells

30 ounces ricotta cheese
4 ounces feta crumbles
¾ cup shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup chopped basil
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
2 large eggs
Kosher salt and pepper

5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 ounces feta or grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
Kosher salt and pepper

Prepare the shells according to the package instructions.   Rinse, cool and set aside.

Mix all of the filling ingredients together.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the butter over low heat until melted. Whisk in the flour and stir until smooth. Turn up the heat to medium and cook until the mixture turns a golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.

Heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly until very smooth. Bring to a boil and stir.  Cook for 8 to 10 minutes and remove from the heat.  Stir in the salt and cheese. Set aside until ready to use.

Assemble the shells
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13 inch pan with nonstick spray. Pour about 1 1/2 cups sauce into the bottom of the pan. Fill the shells with the cheese mixture and set them in the pan.  Drizzle the remaining sauce on top. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, chopped basil and parsley.

Bake 30 minutes, or until the shells are hot and bubbling and heated through. Leftovers keep well.

Variation – Add some drained frozen spinach and or artichoke heart to the cheese filling mixture.  You can also add some small shrimp to the mixture.

Use a marinara sauce to replace the white sauce and sprinkle the top with grated mozzarella cheese for a completely different dish. 

You can make both in a 9 X 9 inch pan and let your family have a choice of one of both on their plate.

Try doing both in one pan in a red and white sauce combination.  Make the white stuffed shells and when you are putting it in the oven put your red sauce on the bottom and white sauce on the top extra flavor and color. Add fresh mozzarella cheese to the top to take it over the top.

Serve with hot out of the oven garlic bread. 

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.

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