“Diversity Potluck this Tuesday” I read in a work email blast. Being the last minute for everything guy I am, I of course waited until the Monday night before to decide what to bring. This potluck was no ordinary potluck, it’s purpose was to showcase diversity. On top of this, it was the first potluck at my new office. Which nationality side do I choose? Taiwanese or Italian?… I decided Italian is easy and usually feeds a lot of people. Then it hit me, Italian stuffed shells. My grandma made this dish all the time when I was a kid. It’s is a simple dish that offers that wow factor, plus its delicious. It’s basically like serving mini lasagna’s but WAY easier.

So let’s begin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Jumbo pasta shells
  • 32oz Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 cup parmasean cheese
  • Italian Parsley
  • Basil
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1 package of italian sausage
  • 1 jar of pasta sauce
  • A shot of red wine (optional)
  • Minced Garlic
  • Chopped onion
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Grated Fontinella Cheese

Start by boiling your Shells. You don’t want to cook them all the way since you are going to bake them after. 5 minutes in boiling water is just enough. When they are done take them off the stove and drain them. Cool them off with cold water.

In a deep pan, maybe even a pot ( I use a hybrid pan/pot) sautee your garlic and onions, when golden brown throw in your sausage and sear each side. When both sides are seared, poke the sausages with a fork , to allow the exchange of fluids and flavors. Then throw in your shot of wine. When the wine is reduced, pour in your jar of pasta sauce. Add your red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and any other spices you want to add, and reduce your heat to low. Let the sauce simmer. 

Remove the sausage from the sauce then cut them into slices, and return to the sauce. Sausage does not have to be cooked all the way through, since it will finish cooking in your simmering sauce, plus you will be baking it again.

While your sauce is simmering, let’s make the shell filling. In a bowl mix together your ricotta cheese, egg yolks, chopped italian parsley, basil, salt/pepper, and parmasean cheese.

Take your boiled shell, fill it with your cheese mixture, and place them on an oiled baking sheet. When the shells are all prepared, pour over your pasta sauce with sausages. Then sprinkle your grated fontinella cheese on top. Put it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.

Then You eat it.