Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Stuffed Shells

I love to taste people's potato salads and spaghetti sauces.  I'm not even that big of a fan of potato salad, but it intrigues me how 3 different people can take potatoes, eggs, celery (maybe) and pickle (maybe) and mayo and come up with 3 entirely different looking and tasting salads.
It's the same with spaghetti sauce. Same basic ingredients, yet totally different outcomes.
(And the thing is, I know I could eat them all and be very happy. I love people's cooking.)

I just love that.  It doesn't take much to amuse me.  I'm an  easy date.

I made these Bacon and Cheese Stuffed Shells because my friend Brenda made them and said the were 'to die for'.  She made them because another blogger friend of hers said they were "to die for"  (yes, I am paraphrasing.  Don't look all over their blogs for that exact wording.) and I figured I had to make them and see for myself.  Guess what?  They were 'to die' for!!  
But all three looked different in our blogs.  Even tho it was the same recipe. I just love stuff like that!  I told doesn't take much to amuse me.

They were very  hard to get a good picture of tho ---white on white.  White shells, white sauce, so when I reheated these for lunch the next day, I let them  crisp up a bit (as you can tell by the picture) and I really liked those over done, crispy little shells, with  the cheese oozing out.  YUM!!
I really liked them best the 2nd day--maybe it was because I knew how good they were and I was anticipating them all morning.

I originally made them for company, and the company was very impressed with me.  I said  "oh it was nothing.  Just something I whipped up this afternoon."  They all had seconds and left my house stuffed (like the shells) and satisfied.   Which you will be too if you make these shells.

It is not a hard recipe, but it is a bit time consuming, so a weekend is the best time to make these tasty shells.

Bacon-Cheese Stuffed Shells

24 uncooked jumbo pasta shells
1 cup chopped fresh mushrooms
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 T plus 1/4 cup butter, divided
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened, divided
1 1/2 cups shredded Asiago cheese, divided
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
2 T minced fresh parsley, divided
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 T all-purpose flour
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup 2% milk
2 cups shredded Romano cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute mushrooms and onion in 1 tablespoon butter until tender.

In a large bowl, beat ricotta and 4 ounces cream cheese until blended. Stir in 1/2 cup Asiago cheese, Parmesan cheese, bacon, 1 tablespoon parsley, garlic salt, nutmeg, pepper and mushroom mixture. Spoon into shells; place in a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish.

In a large saucepan, melt remaining butter. Stir in flour until smooth; gradually add the cream, broth and milk. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.

Stir in Romano cheese and the remaining cream cheese, Asiago and parsley. Pour over shells. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
Cover and bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; bake 10-15 minutes longer or until bubbly.
Makes 12 servings.

 Check out  Brenda's Canadian Kitchen and  Hun, What's for Dinner, if you are like me and like to compare and contrast.  (Or if you just want to check out these great blogs and their great recipes)


Brenda said...

I'm so glad you loved these too Debbie. Weren't they just to die for? :o) We loved them as leftovers too! They heated up nicely. I wish I had some right now.....

bermudaonion said...

Oh my gosh, I just drooled all over my monitor. Those look delicious - I'll have to give them a try.

Karen said...

These look wonderful! And not only bacon, but mushrooms? I'm going to have to make these. I like the crispy edges on the shells, too :)

MM said...

I'm also amused by following the path of these shells. I'm friends with Cindy (Hun, What's for Dinner) through a cooking forum. Then Brenda. Now you. It's like that game "six degrees of separation!"

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