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Stuffed shells with amatriciana sauce recipe

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Adjust Servings:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin Olive Oil
6 ounces Pancetta , cut into 1 by ¼-inch pieces
1 Onion , chopped fine
Salt and pepper
¼ teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
2 (28-ounce) cans crushed Tomatoes
12 ounces jumbo Pasta Shells
12 ounces (1½ cups) whole-milk or part-skim Ricotta Cheese
10 ounces whole-milk Mozzarella Cheese , shredded (2½ cups)
3 ounces Parmesan Cheese , grated (1½ cups)
2 large Egg , lightly beaten
6 tablespoons chopped fresh Basil
3 Garlic cloves, minced

Stuffed shells with amatriciana sauce recipe

  • 2 hours
  • Serves 8
  • Medium


  • Sauce

  • Shells



Stuffed shells are a satisfying weeknight pasta dish, so we set out to create a recipe that could be assembled in advance and go from refrigerator to oven without sacrificing flavor or texture. But when we reheated a batch of basic stuffed shells with marinara sauce, we found that the ricotta had turned watery, and the flavor of the sauce was washed out. A little Parmesan cheese and two eggs helped to bind the filling and prevent it from getting watery overnight, and mozzarella cheese gave the filling a rich, creamy texture. To amp up the flavor of our sauce, we were inspired by the bold flavors of Italian Amatriciana sauce, with its smoky pancetta and kick of red pepper flakes. Those few simple ingredients ensured that the sauce was rich and flavorful once the casserole was baked. Crushed tomatoes provided a smooth sauce base with just the right amount of texture. When buying pancetta, ask to have it sliced ¼ inch thick. If you can’t find pancetta, you can substitute 6 ounces of thick-cut, or slab, bacon.



For the Sauce

Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add pancetta and cook until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to paper towel–lined plate.


Pour off all but 3 tablespoons fat from saucepan, add onion and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, bring to simmer, and cook until thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Stir in pancetta and season with salt and pepper to taste.


For the Shells

Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Line rimmed baking sheet with clean dish towel. Add pasta and 1 tablespoon salt to boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 8 minutes. Drain pasta and transfer to prepared sheet. Using dinner fork, pry apart any shells that have clung together, discarding any that are badly torn (you should have 30 to 33 good shells).


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine ricotta, 1½ cups mozzarella, 1 cup Parmesan, eggs, ¼ cup basil, garlic, and ½ teaspoon salt in bowl; transfer to zipper-lock bag. Using scissors, cut off 1 corner of bag and pipe 1 tablespoon filling into each shell.


Spread 2 cups sauce over bottom of 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Arrange filled shells seam side down in dish. Spread remaining sauce over shells, then top with remaining 1 cup mozzarella and remaining ½ cup Parmesan.


Cover dish tightly with greased aluminum foil, place on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover, and continue to bake until spotty brown and bubbling around edges, 25 to 35 minutes. Let casserole cool for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons basil and serve.


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