For nights when you are too tired to fuss much. Adapted from Woman's Day. The cook time includes 20 minutes for cooking the pasta shells - this goes even faster if you already have your shells cooked,& drained in advance. NOTE: You might not need all of the shells in the box - before cooking, lay out the dry shells in your pan first to see how many you will need and only cook that many.
- 1 (12 ounce) box jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained
- 1 -2 cup light ricotta cheese (use full amount if not using meat or for extra cheesey)
- 1 1⁄2 cups cooked sausage, crumbled (optional)
- 1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
- 1⁄2 cup fresh parsley leaves, packed, very finely chopped
- 1⁄4 cup fresh romano cheese or 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic (optional) or 2 teaspoons garlic powder (optional)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper, to taste
- 1 (26 ounce) jar marinara sauce or 1 (26 ounce) jarhomemade pasta sauce
- Preheat oven to 375 F and grease a 9x13" casserole; if you have not already done so, prepare pasta shells according to package directions and also brown your sausage, drain & crumble.
- Meanwhile, combine 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, all of the ricotta (use 2 cups if not using meat or if you like it very cheesey, even if you are using meat, otherwise use just 1 cup), as well as the parsley (reserving a small amount to garnish), egg, Parmesan cheese, garlic, nutmeg and black pepper.
- Pour sauce into the baking dish and then set the unfilled shells on top facing up so that you can fill them.
- Evenly portion out the crumbled sausage, if using, in the bottom of each shell.
- Spoon filling to a large ziptop plastic bag and snip off one corner.
- Pipe about 2 Tbsp filling into the each of the prepared pasta shells, or as much or as little as you prefer.
- Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes or until sauce is bubbling under the foil.
- Remove foil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and bake, uncovered, for about 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.
- Serve extra sauce from the pan on the side.