Food & Drink

Recipe of the Day: These pasta shells get stuffed in the oven

Make-Ahead Unstuffed Shells
Make-Ahead Unstuffed Shells


4 cups medium pasta shells, uncooked

1 pound extra-lean ground beef

1 jar (24 ounces) tomato and basil pasta sauce

8 ounces soft cream cheese spread

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons milk

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt. Meanwhile, brown meat in large skillet; drain. Spray a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.

Stir in pasta sauce in skillet; simmer on medium heat 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta.

Mix cream cheese spread, basil, Parmesan, milk and Italian seasoning in large bowl until blended; stir in pasta.

Spread half the meat sauce onto bottom of baking dish; cover with layers of pasta mixture and remaining meat sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella; cover with foil. Refrigerate up to 24 hours.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Bake casserole, covered, 40 to 45 minutes, or until heated through, uncovering after 30 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Branco Raiac, chef and co-owner of Flora's Italian Cafe on Hilton Head Island talks about the difference between food from his Romanian heritage and the Italian food that he loves to cook and serves in his restaurant.