Hamptons Recipe Box: Stuffed Shells and Pasta Sauce

Stuffed Shells
Stuffed shells. Photo: iStock

In Hamptons Recipe Box, we’ll be sharing recipes from for our foodie readers to enjoy. You’ll find great ideas from professional chefs, longtime family traditions and more. Today’s recipes come from Dan’s Papers’ Art & Production Manager Genevieve Horsburgh.

It’s hard not to talk about family when I’m thinking about food, because it was always such a central part of any gathering. I’ve always said food brings families together, which is by far the best part about cooking for me. These recipes are sure to bring your family to the table.

Stuffed Shells
2 12 oz packages jumbo pasta shells
1 3 lb. container whole milk ricotta cheese
2 lbs. mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons dried parsley
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
4 cups of Pasta sauce

Cook your pasta shells until just al dente—you want them slightly undercooked, so they are easier to work with, and they will continue to cook in the oven.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all three cheeses, egg, parsley, garlic powder until well mixed.

Then take each pasta shell and fill them with your cheese mixture – you want a lot of cheese in these, trust me!

On a sheet pan, add a ladle of sauce to the bottom so your shells don’t stick. Then lay your stuffed pasta shells down, and ladle some more sauce on top.

In a preheated 375-degree over, cook your pasta shells for about 20-30 minutes, until cheeses are cooked through and bubbling. If you want to brown the top, let it sit under the broiler for about 3 minutes—but keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

Pasta Sauce
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 package pork (ribs or neck bones) seasoned with salt and pepper
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1/2 cup of your favorite red wine
4 28 oz cans of tomato puree
about 1-2 cups water (using the cans from the tomato puree, rinse out the remaining puree with water and add to the sauce)
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 1/2 tablespoons dried parsley
Piece of a Parmesan rind

Using a large, deep sauce pot over medium-high, add olive oil. When oil is almost to the smoking point, place the pork pieces in the pan to get a nice sear on them, about 3-5 minutes a side. The pork and all of its drippings will create an unbelievably delicious flavor.

Once the pork is browned (but not cooked through) add the garlic. Let cook for about 3 minutes, then add the red wine to deglaze the pan. Stir the bottom of the pot to release all of the flavor from the pork.

Then add your tomato puree, water and seasonings. Stir to combine, bring to a simmer, and lower the heat to medium-low. Let simmer on the stove for at least six hours.

My mom makes her sauce first thing Sunday morning and allows it to bubble softly on the stove all day. You can also add in additional meats such as sweet Italian sausage or meatballs (which my mom fries first before adding them to the sauce). Remove all meat from the pot before serving. Leftover sauce can be frozen for up to six months in an airtight container.

More from Genevieve Horsburgh:
Quinoa Pilaf
Honey Balsamic Chicken

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