Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Cheesy, Creamy stuffed Shells with Pesto Sauce

I couldn't help but think of Giada when I titled this.

Have you ever noticed the way she says ANYTHING that starts with a Cr or Chr...Chhhhrispy, Chhhhrunchy, Crrrreamy...I could go on. Anywho...just pay attention next time so you are as annoyed as I am.

Sooo...I love pesto.

My boyfriend says I'm obsessed and put it in EVERYTHING. 



I most definitely do not put it on EVERYTHING...I mean I don't put it on my - I'm blanking - dessert? 

OK maybe I do make a lot of things with pesto. But is so amazingly flavorful. I love it on pizza, burgers, steak, seafood, eggs...I can go ON...but my favorite would have to be pasta. Specifically pasta stuffed with cheese.

I also LOVE cheesy goodness and since RGP loves it too I figured I could keep these in my repertoire. 

Stuffing little pasta with cheese does take a lot of work, but the outcome is soooooo worth it. I am not a huge fan of ricotta so I add some super creamy marscapone cheese to my shells.

The first time I made these I did a completely different sauce.  I bought some of amazing artichoke and garlic chicken sausages and mixed it with jarred organic pasta sauce and beefed it up with some tomatoes, garlic and artichokes. I poured that over the shells topped with fresh mozz and baked until brown and bubbly. MMMMM...and probs a little healthier.

So I had some extra shells left over that I threw in the freezer last so I decided to make this delish sauce. The shells held up amazing in the freezer!

SOOO go crazy cuz these are amazy! (I even hate me for that line)

Oh and have a glass of wine while you're waiting for the oven...duh.

Stuffed Shells With Pesto Cream Sauce

Serves: 4-6

1 lb box of jumbo shells
8oz marscapone cheese
8oz part-skim* ricotta (I use part-skim due to marscapone's higher fat content)
2c mozzarella cheese, divided (1 cup will be used to top the pasta)
pinch of nutmeg
Pesto Cream Sauce (recipe follows)

Butter a large baking dish and preheat oven to 350. 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Add box of shells and cook 2-3 minutes less than package directions as they will finish cooking in the oven. Remove cooked pasta to a large baking sheet until cool enough to handle.  

While shells are cooling mix marscapone, ricotta and mozzarella together in a large bowl. Season with nutmeg, salt & pepper.

Spoon cheese mixture into prepared shells enough to completely fill. Place shells on prepared baking dish seam side down. Laddle sauce over shells, top with 1 cup of reserved mozzarella.  

Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheesy is brown and sauce is bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes when you take it out of the oven and serve with some crusty bread for mopping up all that delish pesto sauce! Enjoy! :)

Pesto Cream Sauce

1t olive oil
1/2c red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1c peppers, sliced (I used red & yellow; roasted would be good too!)
1/2c grape tomatoes, sliced
1 1/2c chicken (I had leftover in my fridge)
8oz prepared pesto (you can make your own)
4oz heavy cream

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent, about 2 minutes. add peppers and saute until soft, about 2 minutes.  Add tomatoes and chicken saute for about a minute. Add your pesto and stir to coat the veggies and chicken. Pour in heavy cream and let simmer for a few minutes.  Season with salt & pepper.



  1. love me some ccccrreamy pasta with a ccccrunchy cccrrust on top ;)

  2. I can't stand how she says A LOT of things... Risotto and Mascarpone are by far the most annoying to me. :)

    1. and how ANY Italian word she has to say in her ridiculous Italisan accent?!