This is a recipe without quantities, mostly because I didn’t keep note of how much I used of things as I went along, but no precision is needed with quantity so just judge it, that’s what you do most days when you cook right?
WHAT YOU NEED:
– Some jumbo pasta shells (the ones that are at least a couple of inches long, uncooked)
– Some tomato sauce (use your usual recipe for tomato pasta sauce, or if you don’t have a usual recipe, just knock one together with canned tomatoes, tomato puree, water if needed, garlic, herbs, salt and pepper, bit of sugar if you want to take the edge off the sourness. Simmer till you’re happy with it).
– Some ricotta cheese.
– Some mozzarella cheese (I like the soft kind that comes in balls packed in water for this recipe).
– Some cheddar cheese.
– Herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.
WHAT YOU DO:
1. Prep your tomato sauce and let it simmer for a good long time until it’s lovely and rich (I sometimes add some butter in to make it even richer, but ssshhhh, don’t tell anyone, especially not Carrie).
2. Cook your pasta shells in boiling salted water until they are al dente – don’t overcook them because they need to be able to hold their shape.
3. While the shells are cooking, mix the ricotta with herbs, salt and pepper.
4. Drain the pasta in a colander and pour some freshly boiled water over it to rinse off the starch, followed by cold water to cool them down. Doing this will stop the shells sticking together and make them easier to work with.
5. Into each shell, place a teaspoon of tomato sauce followed by some herby ricotta mixture. This is quite fiddly, but you’ll get the knack of it after a few.
6. Pour the rest of the tomato sauce into the bottom of an oven dish, roughly about 1-2cm deep, no more.
7. Arrange the stuffed shells facing upwards in rows on top of the sauce.
8. Chop soft mozzarella into small pieces and scatter over the top.
9. Finely grate the cheddar and sprinkle over the top.
10. Bake until it is bubbling and golden brown.