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.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 Notes

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


To make this recipe as prepared on "Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn" use Lucinda's Basic Italian Tomato Sauce recipe.


Tailor the stuffing to your taste --or to whatever you have in the fridge. When the prosciutto, garlic, and onion have been sauteed, add 4 cups of shredded sturdy greens (or reds), such as radicchio, Swiss chard, or Savoy cabbage. Once this base is cooked and has cooled, stir in ricotta and cubed mozzarella.

Reviews (5)

120 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 28
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 49
  • 2 star values: 18
  • 1 star values: 9
Rating: Unrated
I've made this dish several times now and it has become one of my family's favorites! My husband says it's his overall favorite red sauce dish and everyone who has tried it wants the recipe! I agree it's time consuming to prepare but well worth it. One of the times I made it I decided to add more radicchio than called for and it ruined the flavors making it taste too bitter. The prosciutto is a pain to chop, I recommend placing it in the freezer for 15 minutes first to harden.
Rating: Unrated
How do you cook the frozen pan? Do I defrost it or not?
Rating: Unrated
These were a big hit with my husband and 3 young sons--absolutely delicious! I did as Lucinda Scala Quinn suggested and used what I had in the refridgerator. I doubled the recipe so I could have extra in the freezer and substituted 1 pound of hot sausage and 8 ounces of chopped fresh spinach for the prosciutto and raddichio. I did not double the onion, however. I followed the rest of the recipe as written. So glad to know I have another pan of them sitting in the freezer!
Rating: Unrated
I made these and thought they were pretty good. I made a few substitutions though and in the future I don't know if I would use the prosciutto again. You can see my results here:
Rating: Unrated
Made this recipe tonight for dinner and it was great. It took me a long time to make it though. I started it around 4:30 and it wasn't ready until 8:00. The payoff though is another prepared meal ready for next time in the freezer waiting.