Stuffed Shells with Pancetta and Roasted Garlic Marinara

Prep time 1 and ½ hour, cook time 45 minutes. Serves 8


3/4 box jumbo pasta shells, cooked (about 6 cups uncooked or 25 shells)
2 15 oz containers park skim ricotta cheese
1 28 oz can whole, peeled san marzano tomatoes, broken up and squished with hands
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with onion and garlic
4 large garlic cloves roasted and mashed
1 egg
1 4 oz package pancetta*
½ white onion sliced
1 1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ C dry red wine
3 T olive oil
1 handful fresh basic chopped
1 handful fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper

(*Optional for extra meaty sauce: Add 1 package hot sausage at the beginning with pancetta, and then add 1/4 water to sauce , or just use the sausage.)


  • Roast clove of garlic, cool, and remove cloves. Set aside 4 large ones, mushed and ready to add to sauce. Use the rest in soft butter for garlic toast if you’d like.
  • Boil 10 cups water in large pan.
  • In a large sautépan, heat 1 T oil, add pancetta and cook for 2 minutes on medium until browned. Add the onion and cook until transparent.Add wine and reduce for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes, both cans with juice,and stir. Let simmer for about 30 minutes on low, almost covered. Add roasted garlic, stir and cook another 10 minutes on low.Stir occasionally and add fresh parsley AT THE END, remove from heat and cover. Salt and pepper generously to taste.
  • In a large bowl, add the ricotta, and 1 C grated parmesan cheese and egg. Blend thoroughly. Add salt and pepper and fresh basil. Stir. Now, add the shells to the boiling water and cook just until al dente. Remove and drain. In alarge pan, about 9 by 13, cover the bottom with about 1 cup of the sauce to wet. Stuff each shell with about 3 T cheese mixture, so they’re full but not too overflowing. Arrange in pan so they’re touching but not squished. Cover with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan. Cook in a 375 degree oven until the cheese bubbles, about 35 minutes. Remove, let sit 10 minutes, serve.

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