"The best times you are going to have in life are at the dinner table and in bed." Old Italian saying. So relax, and enjoy the simple things!


Stuffed Shells: Foodie Friday


stuffed shells
Stuffed Shells

My daughter was looking for a fun dinner to make with a friend, who sadly was visiting us from Florida because her family is selling their house in our town. She said, "Mommy, can I make your stuffed shells? You don't use anyone's recipe... it's yours, you can blog about it." I think my daughter is getting the blogging concept. I suspect she will have her own dessert blog soon enough. Well, what follows is my recipe for stuffed shell, which everyone likes, even the pickiest kids... plus it feeds a lot of people and as you will see in the pictures making them can entertain kids for an afternoon. 

Stuffed Shells
by Diane Balch

prep time: 30 minutes                Serves: 6 - 8


2 large eggs beaten
1 32 ounce container of Ricotta cheese (whole or part-skim milk)
1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh chopped flat leaf parsley
1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
11/2 to 2 12 ounce boxes of Jumbo Shells 
2 24 ounce jars of Marinara sauce (I recommend: Rao's)
1 12 ounce bag of shredded Mozzarella cheese.


1) Boil pasta water and put at least 1 tablespoon of salt in the water. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2) While the water for the pasta is boiling. Beat eggs in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, and seasoning and mix. Refrigerate until you are going to use this mixture.

3) Strain and rinse shells with cold water. 

4) Fill a pastry bag or freezer bag with the ricotta cheese mixture and squirt it into the shells. Do not over fill.

5) Lay filled shells in a large baking dish. When the dish is filled cover the shells with sauce and top them with Mozzarella cheese.

6) Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until the cheese becomes golden brown. Let the shells sit for 10 minutes before serving them. Best with a side salad.

Italian cookingpastaricotta cheese,stuffed shells http://verygoodrecipes.com/italia 

Note: The ricotta mixture I use in this recipe is exactly the same mixture I use for my lasagna recipe. I actually make stuffed shells when I have leftover ricotta from making lasagna. They freeze very well.

Using piping to fill the shells.

Shells stuffed but not overly stuffed.

Who knew that stuffing shells could be so much fun?

Focusing on their work.

Almost done, and so is the tablecloth.

Hosted by
Home Maid Simple
Simple Living with Diane Balch

Special Request:

Unfortunately, we all probably know someone who has or has had cancer. 
Alyssa at Giveaway Overload has a childhood friend who's son has leukemia.
She is helping to organize a fundraising cookbook. Please share a few of your recipes with these moms. They really will appreciate it.

Spotlight from last week's party:

From: Will Cook for Smiles

As tomatoes come into season you might want to remember this healthy recipe that looks beautiful and could be served as a complete meal with a little bit of bread... no cooking.

From: Farm Flavor
Kung Pao Watermelon Shrimp

I have been seeing more savory dishes that use watermelon. Combining the sweetness of melon with a spicy Asian sauce just sounds like a symphony of taste. 

From: Katie-Kate's Kitchen
Spicy Pepper Jelly Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Pork is a nice change if you are in a chicken and beef rut with grilling.
This marinate is an amazing combination of ingredients. 

Instructions for Foodie Friday linky:


1) Copy the Foodie Friday Button's html from this website's sidebar.

2) Paste this html to the html page of the recipe you want to link to Foodie Friday. You can also make a word link or post our button on your sidebar. Please link back.
3) Copy the link to the recipes you want to add to Foodie Friday, not your homepage. You can post up to 3 recipes that you have not shared before.

4) Click on "your next" on this page.

5) Past your link and type in the name of the recipe, not your name.

6) Choose how you want to download the photo.

Dear Readers,
 I apologize now if I don't reply to your comments. I am unplugging for the week beginning Friday afternoon until the end of next week. In need of a virtual and literal vacation. 

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  1. It looks like making your stuffed shells can be a lot of fun! They certainly do look delicious. Thank you for sharing the recipe, and also for hosting. I've shared a Chinese Style Beef recipe made in the slow cooker - great for hot days! Have a lovely break.

    1. They are fun to make, but oh the mess those girls made. Thanks for the slow cooker recipe.. I'm looking for more summer type ones... I think it is great to use this time of year because you don't get any stove heat.

  2. HI,
    I shared my dairy free real food ice pops as well as an article about the dangers of agave. Check out my featured homestead this week: Shalom Farms!

    Get more traffic to your blog – get featured!


    Thanks for hosting!

  3. Looks like your daughter is going to be a great cook just as her mom is. And also looks like they had a great time in the kitchen. That's very nice.

    I've linked up ideas of how to make a great crab cake. Enjoy your weekend.

    1. I will definitely check out your recommendations, so funny that I made them last week. Have a lovely weekend.

  4. Thanks for another link party! I am trying to get rid of as much store-bought stuff as I can. I really wanted to replace our store-bought butter and came up with this Simple, Homemade Butter recipe (# 20 ). The butter tastes wonderful and I am happy to know exactly what went into it. Have a great week!

  5. The girls look like they are having so much fun with that great dish, it looks delicious. Hope you are having a great day and thanks for hosting.
    Miz Helen

    1. If you saw the mess, you would know they had a truly great time. Good to see you again. Have a great weekend.

  6. Thanks so much for featuring our watermelon shrimp recipe! And those stuffed shells look delicious – one of my favorites!

  7. Thanks for the feature! I linked up some Gorilla Bread that would be perfect to serve the girls for breakfast after their sleepover!

  8. Love linking up with all of these great recipes! This week I added my homemade cherry vanilla ice cream recipe. Thank you for hosting.

  9. What yummy looking features and your stuffed shells look delicious! Thanks for hosting :)

  10. I love the stuffed shells! Thank you for hosting another wonderful Foodie Friday! Have a fantastic weekend!

  11. I'm sharing my Asparagus and Bacon Pasta Salad w/ Creamy Basil Pesto Dressing and my latest vegetable ferment - Savoy Cabbage, Carrot and Ginger. Thanks for hosting!

  12. Stuffed Shells are one of my favorites to make though we've cut back on the wheat dishes for awhile. I like to hide dried kale in the ricotta. No one ever knows....

    1. I know some people put spinach in them, kale sounds good too.

  13. Looks like you have some great help with those delicious looking stuffed shells! What fun! Thanks for hosting and I hope you have a wonderful "week unplugged", something we all need to do every once in a while!

  14. These look really good. I bought some jumbo shells to stuff awhile ago, but have not got around to trying it yet. I'll have to give your recipe a try!

  15. Thank you so much for the party! Thank you so much for featuring my tomato cups!

  16. I am so excited to see so many super Summer posts this week!

    i’ve linked up a raw kale salad stuffed zucchini recipe.

    also, it’s our second week for the Wednesday Fresh Foods Blog Hop – it's still open for a few more hours. please feel free to stop by and link up your CSA collections, farmer’s market treasures, garden harvests, seasonal recipes, or related food politics rants :) Hope to see you there!

    and of course, thanks for hosting!

    P.s. have a great vaca!

  17. Good morning fellow linker upers! (that makes us sound like some weird brand of illegal drug, haha)...

    This week I've linked up something I was inspired to make as a result of my June Foodie Pen Pal Package: Cactus Jelly Bourbon'd Bacon Tacos... Because if bourbon doesn't make everything better, bacon certainly does. Mmmm bacon.... Mmmm bourbon.... Mmmmm bourbony Bacon...

    Happy linking!

  18. Stuffed Shells are always such a great staple that is enjoyed but everyone. They look great. I linked a recipe for a homemade salad dressing using cucumbers, dill, and sour cream.

  19. What a fun activity to do with a girlfriend. I can't wait til my daughter's of age to do stuff like this...those shells are making me hungry, btw. I haven't tried stuffing my own yet, you are inspiring me!

  20. Who doesn't love stuffed shells?! Delish! Please don't forget to like us on Facebook Thank you for linking to Foodie Friday!

  21. I love stuffed shells…sometimes I grate zucchini or carrots into the cheese mixture. I loved the photos of the girls making memories together! They did a wonderful job on the stuffed shells!
    Diane, I have just put you in my google reader so that when we don’t have a LYL page…I won’t miss any of your posts. Thanks for your comment on the FF page…everyone feels the same way from what I’ve been reading!

    1. Thank you, it was really special having the girls cook together. Yes, I have been frustrated with FF hopefully she'll get it together.


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