Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells: A Recipe Rooted in History and Bursting with Fresh Flavors
Like the renowned quiche, with its origin in Germany, and popularity gained in France, pasta has an immersive history which finds its beginnings in Italy and appreciation worldwide. Our recipe, Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells, adds a pop of color and vibrancy to this pasta classic, showcasing the freshness of spring season herbs and cheeses, comparable to the welcoming warmth of spring after a cold winter.
This tasty dish marries jumbo pasta shells, cooked to al dente perfection, with a rich filling made from creamy ricotta and Parmesan cheeses, bright parsley, basil, oregano, aromatic garlic, and egg. After being stuffed, these shells are bathed in marinara sauce, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, and baked until they are piping hot and the cheese is melty and golden. Just before the final baking stage, drizzle a generous amount of Selo Olive Oil over the mozzarella layer to bring in the aromatic flavour and Mediterranean essence.
What truly ties this delicacy together is the Selo Olive Oil. Harvested from Croatian olive groves, this olive oil brings depth and an authentic touch to our Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells.
Stuffing the Shells
Compiling the Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells dish is all about the perfect stuffing. Combining ricotta and parmesan cheese with a selection of fresh herbs, garlic, and egg creates a cheesy and herbaceous filling that is both flavorful and holds well within the jumbo pasta shells. This stuffing process is crucial to ensuring each pasta shell is filled with the creamy, herby mixture, ensuring a delicious bite each time.
The Baking Process
The key to achieving the perfect golden, bubbly appearance on this dish is careful baking. Starting with a bed of marinara sauce in the baking dish helps to prevent sticking and infuses the pasta shells from the base with a wonderful tangy flavor. The first round of baking is covered, helping to heat the shells thoroughly, and then, it is a must to bake uncovered after adding a layer of mozzarella cheese, to allow the shells to develop a beautiful golden cheesy crust.
Selo Olive Oil: The Croatian Twist
Selo Olive Oil forms an essential part of our Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells recipe. This premium Croatian Olive Oil not only lends a subtle richness and the final gloss to the shells just before it goes into the oven for the final bake, but also serves to tie together all the flavors within the dish, making every bite, a trip to the Mediterranean coast.
Fresh Herb and Ricotta Stuffed Shells
Selo Olive Oil
- 20-24 jumbo pasta shells
- 2 cups ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 egg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 cups marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
- Cook the jumbo pasta shells according to the package instructions until they are al dente. Drain and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, parsley, basil, oregano, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper until well combined.
- Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce in the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish.
- Stuff each pasta shell with a spoonful of the ricotta mixture and place it in the baking dish.
- Pour the remaining marinara sauce over the stuffed shells.
- Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the shells are heated through and the sauce is bubbly.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over the top of the shells.
- Return the dish to the oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and golden brown.
- Remove the dish from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes before serving.
- Serve the stuffed shells hot, topped with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.