I've served this dish many times to company over the years, and it's always been a hit. Since it makes two, 9x13 dishes, you can always bake one for dinner and freeze one for another time. And I have to add that it has much more flavor if you use your own Meat Sauce for Pasta rather than store-bought sauce, (but store-bought is just fine if you're in a pinch).
Here's what you need:
- 1 box (12 oz.) jumbo pasta shells
- 3 c. ricotta cheese
- 2-1/2 c. shredded mozzerella cheese
- 1 c. shredded provolone or other complimentary Italian cheese
- 3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese + extra for sprinkling over the top
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1 recipe Meat Sauce for Pasta, or 2 jars of store-bought spaghetti sauce
Cook jumbo shells according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cheeses, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well to make the cheese filling.
Strain the cooked pasta shells and organize your workspace so that your baking dishes, shells, cheese filling, and sauce are nearby. Cover the bottom of each greased baking dish with 2 ladlefuls of sauce.
Begin filling your shells. Take a cooked shell in hand and stuff about a 1 Tbsp. of cheese filling inside. I do this by using a teaspoon (not the measuring kind; the kind you would use at the table). I take a heaping spoonful of the filling and push it off the spoon into the shell. (You can also put the filling in a large plastic bag, snip off one end of it, and using it like a piping bag, pipe your filling into each shell.)
Repeat with remaining shells until the baking dishes are full. Shells should be arranged in a single layer.
Top each dish of shells with the remaining sauce. Be generous - it will prevent the shells from drying out. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Serves 8 to 10.
Serve with a Caesar salad and garlic bread for an awesome meal.... enjoy!