Sunday, September 7, 2008
Stuffed Pasta Shells

I realized after all the baking that while all the baking I had been doing lately was all very delicious and fun it wasn't exactly practical. I mean, sure I can bake, but when I'm older and have a family I can't exactly serve baked goods and treats every night for dinner, now can I? So this weekend I was forced to realize that I ought to be spending more of my time learning how to cook, especially because my boyfriend doesn't exactly share the sweet tooth that I have and is often indifferent to my exciting baking accomplishments. Although I, for the most part, have the domestic skill of baking in the bag...there's no denying that the main course comes before dessert for a reason. [sigh]

So tonight I decided to take on a childhood favorite of mine. Stuffed pasta shells had always been one of my favorite orders, along with a simple capellini pomodoro, but I noticed as I grew older that it slowly started to disappear from many menus until I realized that, although I still considered it a favorite, I had not had it for many years. Therefore, I decided that I was now a big girl who could take matters into my own hands, and, if restaurants would refuse to provide me what I craved, I now had the power create it myself. So create I did and yes, it was oh so satisfying.

On another note: Unfortunately as much as I enjoyed this dish, I sadly observed that my boyfriend (although he asked for serving after serving) did not jump up and down for it like he is known to do over a dish he particularly loves. I suppose the more intricate the recipe I make to please myself, the more it loses its appeal to his simple tastes. I've seen him much more thankful when I whip up a batch of garlic rice and chicken.

Oh well. This was for me. Hehe.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

1 (16 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
4 cups large curd cottage cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pinch garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook shells according to package directions. Place in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.

Mix together cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, and garlic powder. Rub the dried herbs in the palms of your hands to pulverize them, and stir into the cheese mixture. Stuff mixture into the shells.

Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 15 x 10 inch pan. Place shells open side up, and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.