Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Shells

 

Add a little zip to your stuffed shells recipe with pepperoni and arugula.

Pepperoni and Cheese Stuffed Shells

12 oz box of large shell shaped pasta

2 lb container of ricotta cheese

2 eggs

2 cups chopped pepperoni

3 c grated mozzarella cheese

1/4 c chopped arugula

1 T lemon juice

1 t lemon zest

2 T chopped basil

1 t crushed red pepper

1 t salt

1/2 t ground black pepper

1 1/2 c grated parmesan cheese

1 jar of your favorite tomato sauce

In a large pot boil shells until done, drain and rinse with cold water. Meanwhile prepare filling in a large mixing bowl. Add ricotta cheese, eggs, 1 cup pepperoni, arugula, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, pepper, 1 cup parmesan cheese and 1 1/2 c mozzarella cheese, stir until combined.

Pre heat oven to 350. Pour about 1/2 c of tomato sauce onto the bottom of a large glass casserole pan to prevent shells from sticking. Use a heaping tablespoon to stuff each past shell with cheese mixture. Line them up in your casserole pan.

Top with tomato sauce and remaining pepperoni, mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

 

Bake for about 30 minutes or until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and serve. Top with chopped basil and arugula if desired.

Goat Cheese and Marinara Dip

I first tried this dip when my best friend made it for book club. It is a true crowd pleaser and couldn’t be any easier. It’s a perfect go to appetizer when invited to a last minute cocktail party or when unexpected guests come over.

Goat Cheese and Marinara Dip

4 oz goat cheese log

12 oz of your favorite marinara, I like to use spicy (or make your own)

1 T chopped fresh basil

Preheat oven to 350. Pour marinara in to a small baking dish, slice goat cheese and arrange on top of sauce.

 

 

Heat for about 15-20 minutes or until goat cheese is slightly melted. Top with basil and serve with sliced Italian or French bread.

Ricotta Meatballs

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1.75 lbs ground meat, (anything would work here, I used a pork, beef  mix)

1/2 c ricotta cheese

1 egg

1 t minced garlic

1T lemon juice

1T 1/2 and 1/2 or milk

1T Italian Seasoning

1/2 t salt

1/8 t black pepper

1 c panko bread crumbs

Mix ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, I use mine hands, make sure you incorporate the ricotta into the meat mixture well.

Roll meat into balls wetting fingers with water to prevent sticking if needed and place on an ungreased cookie sheet, leave room between them so they cook evenly.

Bake for 1/2 hour, or until no longer pink in the center.

Add to pasta or make subs with your favorite sauce, or try making your own.

I like them on a roll with tomato sauce, arugula and asiago cheese, but the possibilities are endless.