Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Queen of the Block

So....I get a long email from my friend today telling me how she completely flaked out on taking a meal to the lady down the block who just had a baby. This "friend" is an acquaintance from her "high fa-luttin" neighborhood and now she feels like all the ladies will be judging her....

perhaps they may.

Of course, I sent her an email and reminded her not to get all worked up about what a bunch of bored snobby catty women had to say about her...she still had us...a group of friends so tight we can email back and forth about the wonders of Spanx and butt-less jeans all day...putting each other into fits of laughter during our work hours...

but, truth be known...even though it doesn't really also does. So, I wanted to put up a recipe to make when you have time, and freeze a pan or two...just to have on that you can always be able to rush a nice meal over for the casual acquaintance in need.

I found this in a Martha Stewart magazine...and it is tasty and easy and just as delicious after being frozen. Most ingredients should be in your pantry (if you stocked the fridge as mentioned in the previous blog)

FYI. You could also do this with a big pan of lasagna...and I will add that recipe another day.

Stuffed Shells

1 12 oz. box of jumbo pasta shells
3 garlic cloves
1 red onion
4 oz. prosciutto (but I leave this out)
1 head radicchio, cored and shredded (4 cups)
1 tsp red wine vinegar
12 oz. fresh ricotta cheese (1 1/4 cups)
8 oz (1 c) fresh mozzarella (cut into small cubes)
coarse salt and fresh ground pepper
5 c tomato sauce
(I make this with tomato sauce, tomato paste, oregano, basil, Parmesan cheese and fennel seed)
unsalted butter, for dotting
grated Parmesan cheese

Bring large pot of water to a boil, then add salt (I always boil my pasta in water that is as salty as salt water)add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes, drain, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with oil...then let cool completely

Meanwhile...heat oil in your skillet (I love my cast iron and cook everything in it)
add garlic, onion for 6-8 minutes until caramelized...(this is where the recipe also calls for prosciutto if you are using)

Add radicchio, cook about 4 minutes until tender but not mushy
Stir in vinegar until evaporated. Let cool slightly. Stir in ricotta and mozzarella...salt and pepper to taste.

Pour 2 c. of sauce into the bottom of a 8x12 baking dish x 2. Stuff 32 shells (pack 16 into each baking dish) with 1 heaping tablespoon of filling each. Cover with foil and freeze. Freeze remaining sauce in a jar (I keep the mason jars in stock)

Keep these pans in the freezer until you feel the need to take a meal to the lady down the block that just had triplets....

Then...take a pan out of the the shells with butter, bake covered at 375 for 40 minutes...uncover, raise temp to 450 and bake about 15 minutes more until gold and bubbly....heat remaining sauce and pour over shells...garnish with Parmesan.

...make a quick side salad and some garlic bread...if you are feeling really generous...a bottle of wine..or a gallon of sweet tea (if you live in the South).... you are Miss Congeniality. Miss Hospitality....or whatever kind of Miss you are aspiring to be.


  1. and that is just one of many reasons why "you're the best" =) And I have no idea who that girl is, but LAWDY I'd hate to hear what sorts of things are being texted and emailed and facebooked about HER tonight! Whew! The Wifi world is abuzz!

  2. haha...yeah, the girl will remain anonymous...for the sake of her reputation...even though it is already tainted in her neighborhood...ha.