It doesn’t look like much, but daaang! I’m so glad I took the time to simmer the sauce! I grew up with frozen microwaved Costco Stuffed Shells and these are leagues better! I really wanted to upgrade a childhood favorite and make it fresh. Using homemade Ricotta ups the flavor and creaminess of the whole dish!
- Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the bacon grease, onion and bell peppers, sautéing until tender before adding in the garlic. Pour in the vodka and add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and add in bay leaves and pepper flakes. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it’s smooth, then cover and simmer for 3 hours.
- Meanwhile, bring another pot of liberally salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking until almost al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water, then set aside.
- Add the cream and parmesan to the vodka sauce and allow to simmer an additional 10 minutes. Pour half the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, eggs, garlic, herbs and cheeses. Fill the pasta shells and place in the baking dish over sauce. Pour the remaining sauce over top and cover, baking for 30 minutes.
- Remove the foil and bake an additional 15 minutes or the sauce is bubbling at the edge of the baking dish.
- Serve with a fresh salad, garlic knots and steamed veggies.
Looking for a side dish? Try one of these recipes!