Although, wouldn’t ya know? It’s still raining. The air is WET, and it’s hot not but feels hot because it’s so muggy, and I have one dog who just flat out refuses to go pee in the rain, so she’s been holding it for over 12 hours. Not my problem, and no, she won’t go in the house. Yet.
But even though it’s rainy and nasty and we’re SO CLOSE to New York, we still need to eat dinner. And Wednesday just kind of screams spaghetti, don’t you think? I definitely think.
So we had a box of jumbo shells, and we had some shrimp, and Jay doesn’t eat meat, and this was born. It’s kind of a cross between shrimp scampi (wait for the butter) and stuffed shells, and if you don’t like dairy with seafood this is NOT the recipe for you. But I happen to love dairy with all things, so I say screw the rules and give it a try.
You need jumbo shells, shrimp, ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella, parsley, parmesan, garlic, cherry tomatoes, white wine, butter, and lemon wedges. See? Spaghetti and scampi ingredients married and having babies.
First, you’ll boil the shells to al dente and drain them while we prep the other ingredients. When you drain the pasta, spray it with some cooking spray so it doesn’t stick together and tear when you’re ready to stuff the shells. Then, mince the garlic.
So now we have cooked noodles, prepped filling, and sauce! If you’re going to serve this right away preheat the oven to 400F. Then, spoon a bit of the filling into each of the shells – not too much! We don’t want the cheese to ooze everywhere.
I know this seems a little weird, but please trust me and try it. The mild cheese and shrimp go great together, and the sauce is a little sharp from the wine and garlic and everything is just GREAT together.
The sauce is amazing on anything, so keep the method around all summer, especially for when we have tons of fresh tomatoes to contend with! This sauce really likes to make out with bread for dipping. Promise.
- 12 ounces jumbo shells (2/3 box or so)
- 1 stick butter
- 1/2 pound peeled, deveined shrimp
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 4 ounces cubed fresh mozzarella
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 pints cherry tomatoes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- lemon wedges, for serving
- Boil the shells to al dente in salted water, then drain. Toss with cooking spray or olive oil to prevent sticking, then set aside.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F and a large ovenproof skillet to medium-high with 2 tablespoons of the butter. When the butter foams, add the shrimp and cook for 2 minutes on each side until just barely cooked through, then remove from the skillet. Coarsely chop the shrimp, and add to a bowl with the ricotta, mozzarella, half the parsley, and some salt and pepper. Stir the mixture together, and set aside until ready to use.
- In the same skillet, reduce the heat to medium to make the tomato sauce. Add the tomatoes and the wine and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, until the tomatoes start to blister on the skin. Use the back of a spoon to squish the tomatoes until they burst, then add half the remaining butter (about 3 tablespoons) and the minced garlic. Stir for 5 more minutes until the tomatoes break down and the garlic softens, then taste and add salt and pepper to your preference.
- At this point, we have cooked noodles, prepped filling, and sauce! Carefully put some of the filling into each of the shells (don't overfill them since the cheese will melt and get gooey), and place them seam side UP in the tomato sauce. Continue until all the filling is used (save leftover shells for another use), then sprinkle the skillet with the parmesan cheese.
- Bake the skillet for 20-30 minutes until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is browned on top, then sprinkle with the remaining parsley and a squirt of lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread.
- You can make this in advance! Go all the way to the final baking step and refrigerate the prepped skillet before baking, covered, for up to 4 days. Then, bake before you're ready to eat.