Serves 4.

Note: From Doc's Dinner in Key Largo, in "The Flavors of the Florida Keys," by Linda Gassenheimer.

• 24 jumbo pasta shells

• 3 c. ricotta cheese

• 3 tbsp. softened butter, divided

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil

• 1 tsp. dried oregano

• 2 eggs

• 3 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg

• 1 c. shredded Italian cheese (combo of asiago, provolone and mozzarella)

• 3/4 c. smoked provolone or mozzarella

• 1/4 c. finely ground pine nuts

• 2 tbsp. chopped onion

• 2 c. prepared marinara sauce, divided

• 1/2 c. white wine


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to boil over high heat. When water is boiling, add shells and cook 12 minutes, or until tender but firm. Drain and run cold water over them.

Mix ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons softened butter, basil, oregano, eggs, nutmeg, Italian cheese, smoked cheese, pine nuts and onion together.

Butter an ovenproof pan just large enough to hold the shells in one layer. Spread 1 cup marinara sauce over bottom of pan. Fill shells with cheese mixture and line them up in the pan over marinara sauce.

Pour white wine into pan. Cover pan with foil and bake in oven 40 minutes.

Serves 6 shells per person; pass remaining marinara sauce.