The number of flavor combinations when it comes to cooking pasta recipes seems endless. Our friend Hanan, from @ohmygoodiescc has shared one of her favorite pasta meals with us that we think will soon become a staple in your weekday line-up. Her Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Bake includes a rustic sauce that will leave you feeling content and most likely, craving a second helping!
Who doesn’t love a great pasta dish? No matter which walk of life or nationality you hail from, there is a commonality that unites us all in that almost every culture enjoys some type of pasta or noodle dish!
We have a busy household, which means that we’re always looking for an easy, filling meal. Pasta definitely makes it into the regularly scheduled rotation of meals. I love how easy pasta is to prepare and how versatile it is when it comes to fillings, sauces, and fresh ingredients. Just because I make pasta often, does not mean it ends up being the same old, same old. There is so much variety when it comes to ingredients and flavor combinations to be explored with pasta, even with gluten-free and vegan options. One of my favorite pasta recipes is a Roasted Tomato Stuffed Shells dish with a nice, but simple and rustic sauce. If you have a box of jumbo pasta shells lying around, you’re going to want to give this one a try!
Traditionally, we’ve been taught to make For me, what really makes a great pasta dish is not so much the noodles as it is the sauce. I love roasting my tomatoes with the traditional Italian herbs and flavors. Did I mention that clean-up is a breeze? Everything is made in one dish, from roasting to baking the final dish! I use Pure Flavor® Luna® Sweets Cocktail Tomatoes for this recipe. They are amazing for snacking on their own, but the sweetness that comes from roasting them is unreal. If you haven’t tried this yet, you must!
ROASTED TOMATO STUFFED SHELLS
To get started, give your Luna® Sweets Cocktail Tomatoes a rough chop and toss them into your baking dish. Add in basil, oregano, thyme, chili flakes, garlic, onion, and some salt and pepper. Drizzle on some olive oil and balsamic glaze, and let the oven do the rest. No need for constant stirring!
While the tomatoes are roasting, I like to prepare my ricotta cheese filling and start stuffing the pasta shells, which have been pre-boiled as per package instructions until al dente. I find the best way to fill the shells is to use a piping bag. It’s quick and mess free. If you don’t have a piping bag, no worries—a food storage bag with the corner snipped off, or a spoon will work just as well.
One thing to note, if you have little ones running around, stuffing the cheese in the shells may keep them busy and entertained. This is a fun task my kids absolutely enjoy helping with. They love being able to call their grandparents and let them know they took part making dinner. It gives them such a great sense of accomplishment. I find getting them involved in any type of meal prep makes them more inclined to eat the meal as well!
Once the tomatoes are roasted, I like to use the back of a fork to mash everything together right in the baking dish. Once all combined, place the stuffed shells in rows in the baking dish right on top of the tomatoes. They will sink in and the delicious Luna® Sweets will smother the shells perfectly. I like to add a little extra shredded mozzarella on top. Cover with foil and place it back in the oven. The al dente shells will continue to cook the rest of the way and absorb all the wonderful Mediterranean flavors of the sauce. Serve with garlic bread or a crisp side salad and dinner is done!
These stuffed shells are absolutely delectable and something that everyone in the family will love! Plus, it’s a great idea to serve at your next dinner party because the uniqueness of the giant pasta shells make this dish easy to serve and fun to eat.
Don’t be afraid to think outside the box! When we use the same ingredients to make pasta it can be easy to get stuck with what’s ‘safe’. There are so many types of noodles, as well as varieties of tomatoes, that can be used to create your next family favorite! Another great option to change up both the look and the flavor of this dish would be to try it with Pure Flavor® Sangria® Medley Tomatoes. Using these will add variety of flavor among the tomatoes and a lovely mix of color for visual appeal.
Cooking an amazing pasta dish can really be that easy. And since it doesn’t have to always be all that time consuming, making pasta is conducive to almost any family scheduled and lifestyle. So, get out there, explore, discover, and create.
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