Roasted Poblano Pepper-Stuffed Shells
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: Get ready for the holiday with this dish for a crowd. Or eat half one night and freeze the remainder for another meal (or cut the recipe in half, if you prefer). From “Lasagna: A Baked Pasta Cookbook,” by Anna Hezel.
• Coarse kosher salt, for the pot
• 1 lb. jumbo shells
• Roasted Poblano Pepper Ricotta (see recipe), or plain ricotta
• 1 lb. low-moisture mozzarella cheese (not fresh), shredded
• 4 1/2 c. red spaghetti sauce of choice, warm
• 1/2 c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees with rack in the center. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add the shells and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until just tender, according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.
Meanwhile, combine ricotta with half of the mozzarella. Either spoon in the filling or transfer filling to a resealable plastic bag and press to seal. Then, using scissors, snip a corner of the bag so the opening is 1/2 inch wide.
To fill, hold a shell in your hand and squeeze gently to wide the opening. With your other hand, hold the bag, position the tip in the shell and squeeze gently to fill, taking care not to overfill. Set the shells on a work surface and repeat with remaining pasta and filling. Add any remaining cheese mixture to any less-filled shells, so they are all more or less evenly filled.
Spoon 3/4 cup of the sauce into each of 2 medium 1 1/2- to 2-quart glass or ceramic baking dishes. Arrange stuffed shells in the dishes, open side up, and top each dish with 1 1/2 cups sauce. Sprinkle Pecorino Romano and remaining mozzarella on top and cover with foil.
Bake for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake until lightly bubbling and browned in spots, 15 to 20 minutes. Let the shells sit for 15 minutes before serving.
Roasted Poblano Pepper Ricotta
Makes enough for 1 pound stuffed jumbo shells.
Note: From “Lasagna/ A Baked Pasta Cookbook,” by Anna Hezel.
• 2 lb. ricotta
• 3/4 c. (or about 7 oz.) chopped roasted poblano (or other mild) peppers
• 1/4 c. freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
• 2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
To the ricotta, mix in the roasted peppers, cheese, salt and black pepper. Use to stuff shells or for layers of traditional lasagna.