Stuffed Shells and Cheesy Cheesy Baked Ziti


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1.  Mix the following ingredients into the left over ricotta or start with half of the filling recipe from stuffed shells. I cooked about 1 pound of ziti…

1 egg whisked
1/3 cup mascarpone
1 cup of left over ricotta blend (recipe below)
3/4 cup grated parmesan
4 ounces cubed fresh mozzarella
3 ounces cubed smoked mozzarella
8 fresh basil leaves, 1 sprig torn fresh oregano, and several sprigs of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
*optional 1 teaspoon Italian sausage spice mix
a pinch of ground nutmeg
1-2 tablespoons olive oil for baking dish

*5-6 cups red sauce

Cook ziti for nine minutes in salted water, drain, cool down with cool water and allow to drain for 10 minutes. Drizzle large baking dish with olive oil, brush oil all over the dish, add cooled pasta, and about 2 cups of sauce. Add about 1/2 of the cheeses, herbs and any other seasonings that you are using, gently stir all together add another cup or so of sauce, finish adding the blended cheeses leaving some on the top of the pasta. Sprinkle with grated parmesan, cover and bake at 375º for 30-35 minutes or until hot and bubbly…serve with extra sauce and grated parmesan.

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2.  Ricotta filling for Stuffed shells

For the ricotta filling I chopped several fresh basil and mint leaves, about 8 medium large mint and 10 or so basil leaves adding a few more to garnish the finished shells. Blend 1-2 pound container of whole milk ricotta cheese seasoned with a little salt and pepper, 1 – 8 ounce ball of burrata cheese, rough chopped, and about 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano the finely grated zest of 1 lemon and thoroughly blend…stuff al dente cooked jumbo shells (1 box) one at a time with about 1 rounded kitchen teaspoon and place into a large baking dish. When the pan is full spread additional sauce over shells and add more grated parm and a little grated mozzarella, cover and bake for 20-25 minutes, uncover and bake another 10 minutes. Sever with any remaining warm sauce…

If you have extra ricotta blend, save and use for another dish, coming soon…

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