Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stuffed Shells!

Now you didn't think I would post a recipe for tomato sauce without providing you something to put it on, did you?

This recipe is loosely based on the recipe for Three Cheese Stuffed Shells found in my Better Homes and Garden (aka red checkerboard) cookbook. It is the yummiest, and by far one of my favorite pasta dishes. Here is how you make it!

What you need:

Pasta Shells, Parsley, Oregano, 1 beaten egg, cottage cheese, shredded cheese, salt, parmesan cheese.

For the filling: Measure out 2 cups of cottage cheese in a bowl.

Add in 2/3 cup dried parsley and 1/4 cup dried oregano

Add in your beaten egg:

Then throw in a good handful of shredded cheese. I used a mozzerella and cheddar mix.

Then throw in 1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Mix it all together and you have your filling! Yum Yum!

In the meantime, get a large pot of salted water boiling:

Throw in your shells. I used about 15

Let them boil for about 12 minutes. You want them to be only slightly flimsy.

Strain them however you like. I love this spoon strainer!

I put them directly into the casserole dish they will be cooked in.

Grab a shell and start stuffing!

Here's one! I like to pack 'em up nice and full.

Here's the whole group!

Next, pour some tomato sauce (canned or homemade) over the top:

Spread evenly:

Then cover with even MORE cheese. This is making me hungry.

Here you go! Put it in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.

Let cool for a few minutes then enjoy! I did not get a picture of the finished product because it was gone faster than my little hands could get to the camera! I hope you make these soon!

I would love to hear about any of the recipes you try on this site or any others, so feel free to leave comments or e-mail me. I love e-mail!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Tomato Sauce

Do you know how easy it is to make your own sauce for spaghetti/pizza/stuffed shells? Well, it is! I used to buy and try all kinds of different sauces, but the picky eater in me was always dis-satisfied with something and I ended up altering each recipe by adding meat or straining out chunks (yes, I am that picky. Chunks are GROSS, OK?!)

Then one day I was in the grocery store scanning the sauce aisle and I came across these tiny cans called tomato paste. Keep in mind as you're thinking "this girl is an idiot, how can she just have discovered tomato paste?!", I was 19 and had just started going to the grocery store without my Mommy, cut me some slack people!

Anywho, I bought a couple of cans and came up with a sauce. It did not take long at all, so those of you who think a good sauce must be simmered all day long are wrong! I have always used dried herbs in it, but I imagine if you have fresh ones, this sauce would be even better.

Lets get to it! Here's what you need...not much!

Tomato Paste, Parsley, Oregano, Basil, Garlic Salt, Salt.

Empty your tomato paste into a bowl:

Run your bowl under the tap for a few seconds:

Whisk it together and slowly add more water by the tablespoon until you get your desired consistency:

This is my desired consistency. I usually go a little thicker for pizza sauce, though.

Next, add some dried oregano (just under 1/4 cup). Out of oregano, basil, and parsley; oregano is my favorite so I use more of it. If you prefer another, add more of it! You can totally taste as you go!

Next? Basil. I add about half of the amount of oregano I used, so 1/8 cup.

Next? Parsley. I just do a pinch because it's my least favorite.

Then I throw in a teaspoon of salt.

And lastly, garlic salt. I put in a pretty fair amount. Probably 2 Tablespoons.

If it tastes too salty, add a little sugar. Whisk it all together and you have yourself some sauce!

Saturday, June 6, 2009