Lunch / Dinner
Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Pancetta
Homemade ricotta cheese takes stuffed shells to a whole new level. All you need to let the cheese shine is a bit of Parmesan, parsley, and garlic. And even though the ricotta takes center stage, the tomato sauce is nothing to scoff at. This rich, pancetta- and rosemary-infused tomato sauce is the perfect complement to the cheese.
FOR THE SAUCE, PULSE:
FOR THE FILLING, BEAT:
Cook shells in a large pot of boiling salted water just until pliable, 8–9 minutes; drain. Rinse shells with cold water; drain.
For the sauce, pulse pancetta in a food processor until minced; transfer to a bowl. Add onions, carrot, celery, and garlic cloves to processor and pulse until finely minced. Cook pancetta in a saucepan over medium heat until crisp, 8–9 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate. Increase heat to medium-high.
Add onion mixture to pan and cook until vegetables soften and liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and rosemary; cook 1 minute.
Deglaze pan with wine and cook until it nearly evaporates, 3 minutes. Stir in crushed tomatoes and simmer over medium-low heat, 10 minutes; stir in vinegar and season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to 400°. Coat a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Cover bottom of dish with half the sauce.
For the filling, beat ricotta, grated Parmesan, parsley, grated garlic, and egg with a hand mixer until combined; season with salt and pepper. Stuff each shell with a rounded tablespoon of filling and arrange in baking dish, cheese side up; pour remaining sauce over the top. Bake shells until sauce bubbles around edges, 25 minutes. Let shells cool 10 minutes, then garnish with pancetta and shaved Parmesan.
Cook the shells just until pliable. This makes them easy to stuff and prevents them from overcooking.
Mincing the soffritto helps it break down and melt into the sauce, distributing more flavor.
So the filling isn’t so runny that it melts in the oven, add an egg to the filling to help it bind.
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 34g 52%
Saturated Fat 18g 90%
Cholesterol 155mg 51%
Sodium 1394mg 58%
Carbs 59g 19%
Fiber 7g 28%
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.