Cheesy stuffed shells with a super simple 4-ingredient tomato sauce.
Stuffed Shells with Tomato Sauce
There are tomato sauces and then there is this tomato sauce that I’m sharing with you today. Maybe you’ve heard about it? It’s Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce – you know, the one that has only four ingredients: tomatoes, onion, butter, and salt. There’s no chopping, peeling, roasting of anything and all you need is:
- 1 (28-ounce) can San Marzano whole plum tomatoes
- 1 white onion cut in half
- 5 tablespoons of butter
- A pinch of salt
It seems weird, but you just squish the tomatoes and add them to the pot with the onion and butter. Let it simmer for 45 minutes and then remove the onion – at this point, you can puree it with a stick blender (what I did) or serve it as is. That’s it – so easy.
I found this recipe while perusing Adam Robert’s blog, The Amateur Gourmet, a few weeks ago. Don’t let its simplicity fool you — something truly magical happens while it simmers and you are left with a sauce so flavorful you won’t believe all it took was four ingredients. It’s perfect just tossed with some pasta, but I took it a step further and made some stuffed shells…
Is there anything better than jumbo pasta shells stuffed with ricotta, mozzarella, and romano cheese? Pour all that wonderful tomato sauce over the top and you got yourself a very decadent and tasty dinner on your hands. It will make the people happy.
P.S. Want more recipes? 📩 Sign up for the Girl Gone Gourmet Newsletter!
More Pasta RecipesPrint
Cheesy baked shells with Marcella Hazan’s incredibly simple and flavorful tomato sauce.
- 1 (28) ounce can whole plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
- 1 yellow onion, peeled and halved
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 16 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 (15-ounce) container ricotta cheese
- 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup romano cheese, shredded
- Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Place the tomatoes (with the juices), onion halves, and butter in a medium-sized pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Break the tomatoes apart with a wooden spoon and let it all lightly simmer for at least 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the shells and boil them for 9-10 minutes. You want them very al dente – they will finish cooking in the oven. While the pasta is boiling, prepare the filling by combining the cheese, nutmeg, parsley, and egg in a medium-sized bowl. Season with a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper. Drain the shells and place them on a sheet pan to keep them from sticking to each other.
- Remove the onion from the sauce and discard. If you want a smooth sauce use an immersion blender to puree the sauce. Coat the bottom of a baking dish (I used a 9-inch glass pie pan) with about 1/2 of the sauce. Fill each shell with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of the filling. Place in the baking dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the top.
- Cover the baking dish with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove the tin foil and bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand a couple of minutes before serving.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Bake
- Cuisine: Italian
- Serving Size: 1/4 or recipe
- Calories: 857
- Sugar: 9.7g
- Sodium: 933.2mg
- Fat: 39.5g
- Saturated Fat: 23.8g
- Unsaturated Fat: 13.2g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 79g
- Fiber: 7.5g
- Protein: 47.1g
- Cholesterol: 176.9mg
Keywords: stuffed shells, easy tomato sauce recipe
The nutrition information in this recipe is an estimate only and was calculated using Nutrifox, an online nutrition calculator.