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Lunch / Dinner

Pork Stuffed Shells

These stuffed shells are simple to prepare and perfect make-ahead fare. And while stuffing pasta might seem a bit fussy, jumbo shells make things easy. Cook the shells until they’re just pliable enough to work with, but not too long since they’ll finish baking in the oven.

After stuffing the shells with the pork filling, lay them in a bed of aromatic tomato sauce — it’s the perfect match for the rich and creamy, meat-filled shells. At this point, you can cover the dish with foil and refrigerate up to two days. The shells may take a little longer than directed to bake, so test one before serving them.

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Test Kitchen Tip

Adding sherry to the pork mixture balances its richness. Be sure to use a good quality dry sherry that’s aged, not a sweet or cooking sherry.


Preheat oven to 400°.

Parboil shells in a pot of boiling salted water until pliable, 7 minutes; drain, rinse with cold water, then drain again.

Cook onions in oil in a skillet over medium heat until softened, 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add pork and rosemary; cook until browned, crushing pork with a potato masher until fine, 8–10 minutes.

Stir in sherry and cook until nearly evaporated, 5 minutes; season with salt and pepper flakes, let cool completely, then stir in Balsamella.

Spread 3 cups tomato sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish. Divide pork mixture among shells, arrange on top of sauce, cover with foil, and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle shells with Romano, and bake until cheese is golden, 15 minutes; let rest 5 minutes, then garnish with basil, and serve with remaining 1 cup tomato sauce.


For the perfect texture, crush the ground pork using a potato masher until it’s very fine.


To prevent the Balsamella from separating, add it to the cooked pork once it has cooled completely.


Stuff the shells with as much filling as possible, being careful not to tear the delicate shells.

Nutritional Facts

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