Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
This is a great family meal
- 1 lb medium pasta shell
- 3 large garlic cloves, skins on
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (evoo, 2 turns of the pan)
- 1⁄2 small yellow onions or 1⁄2 medium yellow onion
- 1 (28 ounce) can Italian tomatoes
- 1⁄2 cup fresh basil, torn into small pieces (10-12 leaves)
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup store-bought basil pesto
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1⁄2 cup grated parmesan cheese (a couple of handfuls) or 1⁄2 cup parmigiano-reggiano cheese (a couple of handfuls)
- 1⁄2 lb fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt the water.
- Add pasta and cook for a minute or two less time than package directions say.
- The pasta will soak up more juice and keep on cooking after we drain it, so we need it to be a little undercooked.
- The shells with probably cook for 9 or 10 minutes.
- Preheat a big, deep skillet or a medium saucepan over medium heat.
- Place garlic on a cutting board and place the flat of your knife on top of each clove.
- Carefully give the garlic a whack with the palm of your hand to separate the cloves form the skins.
- Throw out the skins and chop up the garlic.
- Remember to keep your fingers curled under and the edge of your knife tilted slightly away from your body.
- Add evoo by pouring a slow stream of it twice around the pan.
- This will be about 2 tablespoons, just enough to coat the bottom of the pan.
- Do not let the oil pour out too fast; you want a slow, steady stream.
- Add the garlic to the oil.
- To chop the onion, cut the ends off and cut the whole onion down the center.
- Wrap half and save it for another use.
- Cut the other half into thin slices then turn the slices a quarter turn and chop them again.
- Hold the tip of the knife on the cutting board and lift the back of the knife up and down over the onion to make the pieces really small.
- Add the chopped-up onion to the garlic and oil.
- Cook, stirring a lot, until the onions are mushy and look cooked, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes to the onions and stir.
- When the tomatoes come to a bubble, reduce the heat under the sauce to low.
- Stir in basil pieces to wilt them.
- Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the broiler to high and place a rack in the center of the oven.
- Drain pasta shells.
- Add them to a casserole dish.
- Add pesto sauce, ricotta cheese, and a handful of grated parmesan. S.
- tir carefully and coat the hot pasta with the pesto and cheeses.
- Pour the hot tomato and basil sauce over the pasta, as much as you like.
- You can always serve a little extra at the table.
- Scatter the mozzarella cheese over the pasta.
- Add a final sprinkle of parmesan as well.
- Place the casserole under the broiler in the middle of oven, 10 to 12 inches from the heat.
- Let the cheese melt and bubble on top, 3 to 5 minutes.
Yummy pasta dish, although a little too much work for what you get. Actually my biggest problem with this recipe was not the food, but the shear number of directions....34 steps??? For instance: just say "minced garlic" in your Ingredients list, and don't tell us how to mince garlic step by step.
I love this recipe. We usually make more sauce than the recipe calls for though so we have extra to dip the bread in.