Garlic and Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

When I was younger, I was fascinated with cooking and baking. I guess it was because I had such great examples. Both my parents cooked and baked a lot when I was growing up, and my Grandmas were always putting food in front of me when I visited. I have vivid memories of making Kraft Mac and Cheese when I was nine, without any help. I was SO excited, and rightfully so…I mean, who doesn’t love Kraft Mac and Cheese? These stuffed shells were one of my first original creations. I’ve changed them over the years as my tastes have changed, and I’ve never been disappointed with the results. Normally, I make shells when I’m having company, as it seems like a lot of work for just one person. But, sometimes you need to eat obscene amounts of cheese alone, so voila! Stuffed Shells for one!

Garlic and Three Cheese Stuffed Shells

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What I’m Listening to: “Look After You” by The Fray

Ingredients (makes 4 shells)

-4 jumbo pasta shells

-1/2 cup of ricotta cheese

-1 egg

-1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese, plus extra for topping

-1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese

-2 cloves (or 1 tsp) of minced garlic

-1/4 tsp oregano

-1/8 tsp black pepper

-1/4 cup + 1/8 cup of marinara sauce (I used Hunt’s No Sugar Added sauce, and highly recommend it!)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Bring a small pot of water to a boil. Add the shells and cook for 7 minutes. While the noodles are cooking, mix together the ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl. Add the other cheese, garlic, oregano, and pepper; mix well. When the noodles are done, drain and set aside.

Grease an individual-sized baking dish*. (See note below!) Spoon an 1/8 cup of sauce in the bottom and spread evenly.

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Spoon the cheese mixture into each shell. I pack mine pretty full, so that the cheese is oozing out. Place the shell cheese-side up in the bowl. Repeat the steps for the remaining shells.

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If you have any additional cheese, spread it over the top. You can never have too much cheese! Spoon the remaining 1/4 cup of sauce over the pasta. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the sauce begins to bubble. Top with shredded mozzarella and bake an additional 3 minutes. This will feed 1-2 people, although I recommend serving with bread and a salad if you are making for two. Enjoy!

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*Note: my individual-sized serving dishes were a pottery set my aunt got me. You can buy individual dishes on Williams Sonoma, or check the Black Friday ads for deals!

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