Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stuffed Pasta Shells and Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding

Stuffed Pasta Shells from http://itsdinnertime2.blogspot.com

½ C parmesan cheese
24 oz ricotta cheese
3 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 T basil (I was out of basil so I used some Italian seasoning I had)
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 jar spaghetti sauce (I love Bertolli) add cooked ground beef

Mix cheeses, basil, salt, pepper. Add eggs. Pour ½ sauce in 9x13 pan. Stuff shells with cheese mixture. Put in pan. Pour over remaining sauce. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

For the three of us, I halved this recipe (except the sauce) and used a smaller dish. It was perfect. Just enough for us all to eat dinner and Brad to have left over’s for lunch the next day.

I made these for dinner last night. It was good, however when I make this dish again there are some things I will do differently. First of all, this recipe says to add ground beef to the pasta sauce. I thought about omitting the meat as I love to really taste the sauce, pasta and the ricotta, but because Brad prefers the meat I added it in. I added just less than 1 pound of hamburger meat to the sauce and for me it was way too much. I felt like I could only taste the hamburger. The next time I make it, I think I will leave out the meat all together and should I happen to make it with hamburger again I would only use about a quarter of a pound. I found that using as much meat as I did made the sauce too thick and chunky and I didn't love that about this dish.

The original recipe also suggested baking this for 40 minutes but I found that I need to bake mine for closer to 55 minutes.

All in all I did like this recipe. It was easy to make while Gabe was confined to his high chair eating breakfast. I love meals I can make in the morning when I have energy, pop in the fridge and then just put in the oven later on in the afternoon to cook in time for Brad to come home.

Chocolate Self Saucing Pudding- from http://whowantsdinner.blogspot.com

1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided into 3/4 cup and 1/2 cup
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 tablespoons cocoa, divided into 3 tablespoons and 4 tablespoons
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 & 1/2 cups hot water
Preheat oven to 350°.

Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square glass baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over batter. Pour hot water over the top. Do not stir.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes, then serve. Use the chocolate sauce in the bottom of the pan to spoon over servings. Garnish, if desired, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Makes 6 servings.

My mum would make a version of this dish growing up. I am not the hugest chocolate pudding fan, but this one is yummy and is so good when paired with a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream. Note - This recipe doesn't call for eggs. I didn't notice that until I was almost done making it and thought I'd forgotten something. I was worried that it was a typo on the recipe but the pudding worked out wonderfully. It was the perfect end to our evening. Cuddling up on the couch with my Brad, eating a yummy dessert while Gabe was tucked in bed asleep. Ahhhhhhhh!

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