Coast Cooking

Coast Cooking: Stuffed pasta is a great comfort food

I have a pretty serious pasta addiction. Sometimes in the middle of the night I get a craving and a bowl of fettuccini, with just a drizzle of good olive oil, and lots of Parmigiano-Reggiano becomes unavoidable.

Is it a healthy habit? No, but it is one I can't and don’t want to kick.

As much as I love fettuccini and linguini, a stuffed pasta, like manicotti or conchiglie (shells) can be a comfort food beyond comparison.

A good stuffed pasta does not have to be difficult to make, just a good red sauce, or a ragu (see Monday's blog) if you have the time, some fresh ricotta, cheese and fresh herbs — that's it. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

STUFFED PASTA

1 package manicotti cooked to package directions

2 cups ricotta

2-3 cups red sauce or ragu

1 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 small bunch fresh basil



When you cook the pasta make sure the water does not come to a violent boil; fewer of the shells will tear that way. Combine the ricotta and the fresh basil, stuff each shell full, then place in the bottom of an oven proof pan. Top with the red sauce, and then the cheese. Bake at 350 f until hot and bubbly. This recipe works well with spinach as well.  

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