Currently listening to: "Girls," Nizlopi
My stuffed-shell adventure started with a text message to my Mom.
"Pan says no stove top, no broil. Can I put in oven?"
She called me immediately, kindly limiting that "please don't burn your apartment down" motherly panic as she asked about my plans. I told her I was going to make stuffed shells, and that I had two pan options-- Boyfriend's gross, typical-bachelor-hand-me-down pan, or my glass Tupperware Christmas gift that looked like a pan. My mom assured me that the nice, glass gift could go in the oven-- just not above 450. I was glad to put boyfriend's pan back on the bottom of the shelf.
My Mom makes great stuffed shells, a real family classic. But I wanted to try them on my own before asking for her advice. I boiled a package of shells (watching like a hawk for "al dente"), mixed together the cheesy ricotta stuffing and started to carefully spoon a measured amount into each shell, delicately laying the shell into the baking dish. Eventually, my cheese-coated fingers gave up on the spoon and I just hand-stuffed the guys and threw them in the dish.
Alas, I was running out of the cheesy stuffing faster than shells. I stuffed more conservatively, and by the last couple of shells, my dish was divided with "super-stuffed" and "lightly filled" shells. My first stuffed shell dish, and I already learned to make the "light" version :)
They turned out pretty great-- boyfriend and I have been obsessing over the leftovers all week. I want to add something green to the cheesy stuffing, a little color and some extra flavor (maybe parsley? chives?), but overall I liked it.
Plus, I made the whole thing, put it in the fridge, and baked it when I got home. I love a recipe I can interrupt with school!
New Girl Lesson of the Day: I mixed the marinara sauce with mozzarella and Parmesan before pouring it over the shells-- anytime you're going to pour something over a dish, mix it in a bowl that ISN'T insanely heavy. Maybe avoid that heffty, probably-made-for-decoration popcorn bowl... makes the pouring a little easier...