Stuffed shells with wine infused portobellos

imageSo this was a little bit more complicate recipe, but it’s also pretty impressive. This is an Italian dish called stuffed shells, and I added some wine infused portobello mushrooms. This dish is vegetarian, so it’s pretty healthy but it has quite a bit of cheese.

The ingredients you will need are:
1 box of large shell noodles
4 whole portobello mushrooms sliced into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup of white wine (I used Chardonnay)
1/2 stick of butter
1 tub of ricotta cheese
2 pounds of mozzarella grated
1 tablespoon of dried basil
2 jars of your favorite tomato sauce

The first thing I always do when cooking pasta is boil water. This always takes the longest so I made sure I started that early. I use about a gallon of water and a whole teaspoon of salt to boil the pasta in. Once the water boiled I added all the noodles and cooked them for about 7 minutes till they were al dente. Then I drained the water and let the noodles cool down enough to hold them in my hand.

Soaking up the wine sauce
Soaking up the wine sauce

While the noodles were cooking I fried all of the slices of portobello mushrooms in butter over medium heat till they got some nice color on them. I could fit about 1 whole sliced mushroom in the pan at one time. Once all of them were fried I put them all back in the pan and put the pan on high to get it really hot. Then the next step was a little dangerous so I quickly took the pan outside to a safe area before I added the 1/4 cup of wine. Then once I put the wine in the pan I took my lighter and lit the fumes on fire. This quickly burns off all the alcohol, it only stayed lit for about 5 seconds. Then once the flames were out I poured the whole mixture into a bowl to let it cool and let the mushrooms absorb the flavorful butter wine sauce.

Ricotta, mozzarella and basil mixture
Ricotta, mozzarella and basil mixture

Then I used an entire tub of ricotta cheese and mixed it with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese and 1 tablespoon of basil in a large mixing bowl.

Halfway through I added another layer of mozzarella just because.
Halfway through I added another layer of mozzarella just because.

image

Once everything was cool enough to handle I took a half of one jar of tomato sauce and poured it in the bottom of the Pyrex baking dish so the noodles wouldn’t stick to the pan. Then I assembled the shells by first opening a shell and adding a half of one slice of a mushroom and then a scoop of the ricotta cheese mixture and then gently squished the shell so there wasn’t any air inside. Basically I made about 40-50 shells and laid them all in the pan. Then I poured the rest of the tomato sauce all over the top and squished it all down with a plastic spatula so it was nice and flat on top. Then all I did was sprinkle all the rest of the mozzarella cheese on top of that like a lasagna and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

Perfect
Perfect

Now here’s the most important part. Once the hour was up I turned the broiler on high and let the cheese brown for about 2 minutes. This step is really important to me because the browned cheese adds so much flavor. Basically when I make a dish like this it’s just a really good excuse to eat burned cheese haha. Once you turn the broiler on you are going to want to check it about every 30 seconds or so. You will see the top brown very quickly, but I think 2 minutes is about right. The browner the better.

If you follow these steps you will have a delicious and impressive meal that was actually pretty cheap to make. About 20-30 dollars. If you don’t like mushrooms you can just leave them out. The cheese stuffed shells are delicious by themselves.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. If you like it please share it on on facebook!

By, Cody Childress

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