Bolognese is good poured, dumped, or slathered all over just about anything in my book. I'm a simple girl at heart, so my all time favorite application has to be pouring it on top of hot, freshly boiled spaghetti. But I think these stuffed shells bolognese come in at a close second. Probably partially due to the fact that I'm cheese's number one fan. If cheese got in an accident on a snow ridden highway I might be tempted to kidnap it and keep it tied up in my guest room reminding it daily 'I'm you're number one fan'. (Sorry, I couldn't help the Misery reference there, my love of cheese might border on sick at times, thus the reference). Needless to say, I'm a fan of cheese in every and all forms. Soft cheese, hard cheese, stinky cheese, light cheese, perfectly aged cheese with those little crunchy bits littered throughout it's tart flesh. Swoon. I truly don't believe I could live without it. So, pouring my beloved bolognese over giant shells filled with copious amounts of ricotta cheese speckled with fresh herbs? It just doesn't get much better than that in my book. I've already raved about my bolognese. I would make it every week if I could justify it, I can't, so I don't. But it is on a bi to tri-weekly rotation. When you've got a kick ass sauce, or recipe in general, you can play with in just about anyway you want and it remains just as satisfying, if not better. From time to time I break free from spaghetti noodles and try it in new dishes, a few weeks ago it was (at least an 8 pound) lasagna bolognese, this Sunday stuffed shells. Both were out of this world. Probably because both were loaded with cheese. These stuffed shells dish is quite possibly the epitome of comfort food for me. Cheese, noodles, bolognese, and more cheese. A recipe fit for a slow, dark, chilly Sunday.
Stuffed Shells Bolognese
First you'll need a batch of Bolognese
1 box of giant shells (about 30 shells per box)
2 LB whole milk or part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme finely chopped
2 medium sized Sage leaves finely chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (if you don't have white, black will do just fine)
6 oz freshly grated parmesan
6 oz. freshly grated pecorino
1. Boil noodles according to package until they are al dente. Should be about 8 minutes. You're going to bake them so you want them to be al dente to ensure that they do not turn to mush in the oven. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix ricotta, egg, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper until well combined.
3. Pour a shallow layer of bolognese sauce over the bottom of a large casserole dish.
4. Fill a large pastry bag with the cheese mixture (if you do not have a large pastry bag you can put the cheese into a large ziploc, seal it, and cut one of the bottom corners off). Pipe and fill, with equal amounts of cheese, each cooked shell, placing filled shells in the sauce prepared casserole.
5. Once all the shells have been filled and placed in the casserole, top with remaining bolognese, parmesan, pecorino and a sprinkling of italian parsley.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted hot and bubbly.
7. Serve and enjoy!