Prosciutto Basil Stuffed Shells

Can you tell I was so excited to start scarfing this down that I barely paused to get a decent picture? These are just ordinary stuffed shells, but the addition of diced prosciutto turns these into the kind of dinner, well, you can’t wait to start scarfing. My grocery store sells diced prosciutto in the cheese-deli-bakery section – if yours doesn’t, you could dice it yourself or maybe sub diced ham. Don’t skip it, though – all the oomph is in the prosciutto!

Besides just loving the taste of prosciutto, I go out of my way to find reasons to cook with it, because it always reminds me of a dinner out with friends back when my husband and I were first dating. After having perhaps a bit too much to drink at a lovely Italian restaurant, he spent a large chunk of the evening loudly declaring his love for PROSCIUTTO! Hey, he wasn’t wrong!

PROSCIUTTO BASIL STUFFED SHELLS (recipe from Pillsbury One Dish Meals Cookbook)

12-15 jumbo pasta shells
1 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3/4 cup chopped prosciutto or cooked ham
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 egg
1 14-oz jar spaghetti sauce

  1. Heat oven to 375. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook pasta to al dente as directed on package. Drain; rinse with cold water to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in medium skillet over medium heat until hot. Add garlic and prosciutto; cook 2-3 minutes or until garlic is light golden brown.
  4. In medium bowl, combine 1/2 the prosciutto mixture with ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese, basil and egg; mix well. Stir spaghetti sauce into prosciutto mixture remaining in skillet and let simmer while preparing shells.
  5. Spoon ricotta mixture into cooked shells; place in baking dish. Spoon spaghetti sauce mixture over shells. Cover with foil and bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated.

These stuffed shells are good enough that I almost don’t mind the fact that I have to dirty up three different cooking vessels – a big pot to boil the noodles, a skillet cook the prosciutto and garlic, and a baking dish to bake the shells. Basically, this is a great dinner to make when someone else is doing your dishes.

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