Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
What makes Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells so special?
How to make Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells
While the gravy simmers, you can boil the shells and stuff them with the pesto ricotta. I’m giving you my pesto recipe below, but you can definitely take a shortcut and use a jar of premade pesto sauce.
Pesto Ricotta Stuffed Shells
- 12 oz. box of jumbo pasta shells
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese grated
- 1 egg
- 2 28- oz. cans of tomato puree I like Cento or Tuttorosso
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 12 oz. jar of sweet peppers diced
- 8 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 Tbsp. dried basil
- 2 Tbsp. dried oregano
- 3 Tbsp. dried parsley
- 1 Tbsp. sugar
- 3 tsp. salt
- 1 1/8 tsp. pepper
- 1 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup + 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/2 Tbsp. pine nuts
- Cook and drain the shells according to package directions.
- Drizzle 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil on the bottom of a medium-sized pot so that it forms a thin coating on the bottom. Heat the pot over medium heat and add the onion and 6 cloves of garlic. Stir to coat the onions and garlic in oil and allow them to soften and sizzle, 3-4 minutes. Add the sweet peppers and stir to combine. Saute an additional 3-4 minutes. Lower the heat and add the tomato puree, dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley, sugar, 2 tsp. of salt and 1 tsp. of pepper. Cover and simmer on low heat, stirring occasionally.
- Puree the fresh basil, 2 cloves of garlic, parmesan cheese, olive oil, pine nuts, 1 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. pepper in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the ricotta cheese, 1 cup grated mozzarella and egg. Stir to combine.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon about 2 tsp. of the ricotta mixture into each cooked pasta shell. Ladle out enough tomato gravy to coat the bottom of a 9×13 inch baking dish. Arrange the shells in rows in the baking dish. Cover with more gravy and the remaining mozzarella cheese. Bake 40 minutes.