¼ cup olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp dried crushed red pepper
Two 28oz. cans Italian plum tomatoes, chopped in processor with juices
1 cup chopped fresh basil
Two 15oz. containers ricotta cheese
14 oz feta cheese, divided
½ cup chopped fresh basil
2 bunches fresh chives, chopped
2 large eggs
12 oz package jumbo pasta shells
1. To prepare sauce: In large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat oil, add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 5 minutes. Add crushed red pepper and sauté 30 seconds. Add tomatoes. Simmer until sauce is reduced to 5 cups, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and mix in basil.
2. To prepare filling: Combine ricotta, 1 1/3 cups feta, basil and chives. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mix in eggs.
3. Cook shells in large pot of boiling salted water until just tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water until cool. Drain thoroughly.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Spread ¾ cup of sauce in the bottom of each of two 13×9″ glass baking dishes. Fill 30 shells and divide between the dishes. Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining feta.
6. Bake until shells are heated through, about 30 minutes. Garnish with additional basil leaves.
*To save time on cooking day, you may prepare the sauce a day in advance and refrigerate.
**You may also prepare the entire dish a day ahead, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.
Recipe Source: Bon Appetit
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“It was great to be able to prepare this early in the day and have it on hand and ready to bake. We used canned tomatoes that were already chopped, rather than get out the processor. The guests we served said they felt as if they were in a 5 star restaurant!”
“Wonderful! That was the general consensus around my dinner table the night I served this flavorful dish!!”
“This was even better the second day! My guest loved it. Tastes great with homemade bread.”
-San Diego, CA