Large Shells Eggs Ricotta Cheese Mozzarella (Low Moisture whole milk if possible) Parmesan Fresh basil Fresh parsley Garlic Shallots or white onion Crushed tomato Tomato paste dried basil / parsley / oregano Beef bouillon
- melt a pad of butter, add a drop of evoo over the butter
- add diced onion + salt to the oil. Do not let brown or burn
- Add crushed, minced garlic or garlic paste as well as the dried herbs
- Add tomato paste and fry, move it a lot or it will burn
- add crushed tomato
- It is critically important that you taste test the sauce before and after every step and between stirrings.
- add a dusting of beef bouillon over the sauce
- add dollop of ricotta and or a splash of milk
- add a big pinch of sugar
- at this point you want to continue to taste and tweak to your preference
- simmer on low, stirring occasionally.
Shells + Filling
- Put a large pot of salted water on to boil
- Once the water is boiling you only want to boil for 5-7 minutes. Any more and the shells will be mushy. Any less and there will be too much “bite” to the pasta.
- After, strain them. And this should be the literal only time ever you want to do this, but rinse the shells. You want to stop the cooking and the shells need less starch for this.
- Preheat the oven at 350F
- In a large bowl combine equal parts ricotta, Parmesan, and shredded mozzarella - If this looks wrong, you’re doing it right.
- add three eggs
- Prune the foliage from the basil and oregano. Remove stems and rough chop
- Add the herbs, salt, garlic paste to the filling
- fill the red sauce into a large casserole dish. I use a ~4qt dish.
- Create a filling station with your shells - filling - casserole dish
- Skip the spoon or the piping bag, they are too messy and will probably tear the shells. Use your hands, I like to use nitrile gloves while I do this. Fill the shells - You don’t need to be too delicate or neat, just get them filled and into the sauced casserole dish.
- How you do this comes down to preference. For evenly cooked shells, make sure they are submerged in the sauce. If you like some more texture, leave the shells filling side up partially submerged. Covering with additional sauce or mozzarella is up to do. I personally add them haphazardly with some submerged, some not - no mozz on top. Whether or not to cover with foil during banking is another preference. Cover for more evenly cooked, uncovered for a bit drier, marginally thicker textures. Bake at 350 ~45m
Like most baked pasta dishes, this will need to rest for 10-20 minutes before serving.