Stuffed Shells

Makes 32 Shells
Stuffed shells -- pasta with a cheese filling -- freeze beautifully. Baked and bubbly, they are a comfort-food classic, always welcome on the dinner table. You'll need to cook an entire box of shells, since some will break as they boil.


  • 1 box (12 ounces) jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 head radicchio, cored and shredded (4 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar
  • 12 ounces fresh ricotta cheese (1 1/4 cups)
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, chilled and cut into small cubes (1 cup)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5 cups favorite tomato sauce
  • Unsalted butter, for dotting
  • Garnish: finely grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta shells for 10 minutes. Drain, and rinse. Transfer to a bowl. Drizzle with oil. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook prosciutto, garlic, and onion, stirring, until prosciutto starts to caramelize, 6 to 8 minutes. Add radicchio; cook until tender but not mushy, about 4 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook until evaporated. Let cool slightly. Stir in ricotta and mozzarella; season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour 2 cups tomato sauce into the bottom of each of two 8-by-12-inch baking dishes. Stuff 32 shells with 1 heaping tablespoon filling each. Pack 16 shells into each dish. Cover with foil. Freeze if desired.
  4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dot shells with butter. Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and raise oven temperature to 450 degrees. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Heat remaining cup tomato sauce; serve with shells. Garnish with Parmesan cheese.
cook's note
To make this recipe as prepared on "Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn" use Lucinda's Basic Italian Tomato Sauce recipe.

Assembled shells can be frozen, unbaked, for up to 1 month.
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