Grossy's Baked Stuffed Shells with Pesto
One glorious day I decided to top my Grossy's Baked Stuffed Shells recipe with my Basil Almond Pesto recipe and honestly it's one of the very best things I have ever done. Several people who ate them also agreed, and so I thought they deserved their own post! 10/10 recommend you make them immediately!
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
1 12oz. box jumbo shell pasta
2 lb. ricotta cheese
1 lb. shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
10 oz. goat cheese
1 cup chopped fresh mint
Red pepper flakes
Basil Almond Pesto:
3 cups (4 oz) fresh basil leaves
½ cup roasted almonds (though any nut will be delicious!)
½ cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
4 whole garlic cloves, peeled
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup olive oil
WHAT YOU'LL DO:
Preheat your oven to 350º.
In a pot of boiling salted water, cook your jumbo shell pasta until very al dente. They will continue to cook as you bake them.
Let’s make the cheese stuffing. Mix 2 lb ricotta, 1 lb shredded mozzarella, 1 cup grated parmesan, 10 oz goat cheese, 1 cup chopped fresh mint, and salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes together in a bowl.
Now let’s make the pesto. Add all pesto ingredients to a food processor or blender EXCEPT for the olive oil. Pulse or blend until ingredients are well broken down. Slowly drizzle the olive oil into the food processor as you pulse, incorporating it bit by bit. Your pesto should look well incorporated and stunningly green. Be sure to check on those almonds—they like to hide and act difficult! You can make your basil almond pesto as smooth or chunky as you like!
Grab your al dente jumbo shells and your cheese mixture and start stuffing your shells. This is a fun job, especially if you have big meaty bear paws instead of regular ol' hands like me. Involving any kids in the vicinity would be great for this part, actually. Maybe I should have kids? I digress. Just make a mess, have fun, and don't stress too much. Stuff don't fuss!
Once your shells are stuffed, grab your baking pan (or pans). You can do this so many ways with so many pans, but pick the pan you love best and fill it with about a 1" deep bed of marinara. Tuck the stuffed shells into the bed of marinara so they're nice and cozy!
Take a spoon and give each of your shells a nice topping of pesto! Don’t be shy here.
Bake for 30 minutes at 350º, then turn on your broiler and go to town getting them as crispy as you want. For what it's worth, I like them CRISPY! Keep and eye on them as you broil, as they can get real dark real fast.
If you have extra shells and sauce that don't fit into your baking dish, I recommend making some to freeze for later. I wrap these pans completely in foil and write baking instructions on top for whoever (me) ends up pulling them out of the freezer and eating them (me, again). When it's time to eat them, then can be put directly into the oven from the freezer (after you unwrap them of course). Bake at the same time and temp as instructed above. They will last frozen for a while, like up to 6 months.
I do not have my usual step-by-step photos for this recipe, BUT I DO have them for Grossy's Baked Stuffed Shells here. Just add the pesto on top!