Pork-and-Ricotta-Stuffed Jumbo Shells

Food & Wine’s Justin Chapple amps up the filling in stuffed shells by including ground pork. Make sure to use your favorite prepared tomato sauce here.

  • Active:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 6 to 8

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  • 12 ounces jumbo pasta shells

  • 1 1/4 pounds ground pork

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh ricotta

  • 3/4 cup panko

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

  • 4 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce

  • 1/2 pound fresh lightly salted mozzarella, torn

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°. 
In a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the shells until they are al dente, about 9 minutes. Drain well and transfer to a baking sheet to cool slightly.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the pork, ricotta, panko, garlic, egg, Parmigiano, the 1/2 cup of parsley, 1/4 cup of the cream, 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper; mix well. 

  3. In a medium bowl, mix the marinara sauce with the remaining 1/4 cup of cream. Spoon half of the sauce into a 9-by-13-inch oval baking dish. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of the filling and nestle in the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce over the shells and scatter the mozzarella on top. 

  4. Cover the baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, then uncover and bake for 15 minutes longer, until bubbling and 
the pork is cooked through. Let stand for 10 minutes, then garnish with parsley and serve.

Make Ahead

The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated overnight. Bring the pasta to room temperature before baking.

Contributed By Photo © Marcus Nilsson Published January 2017

1097167 recipes/pork-and-ricotta-stuffed-jumbo-shells 2016-12-07T17:05:04+00:00 Justin Chapple january-2017 recipes,pork-and-ricotta-stuffed-jumbo-shells 1097167

Aggregate Rating value: 4

Review Count: 6

Worst Rating: 0

Best Rating: 5

Author Name: Heather Tuttle

Review Body: I made this tonight and it was delicious! Three things: * by "heaping tablespoon" I think it means "fill the shell pretty full" because I had quite a bit of meat mix left over. (I just spread it out atop the dish.) * I doubt this can fit in a 9x13 oval dish. (The photo accompanying the recipe should'be tipped me off!) I don't have an oval dish so I tried using a large square casserole dish and it was so crammed in...and I hadn't even poured in the rest of the sauce! It would've overflowed for sure. I dumped it all in a 9x13 deep rectangular pan instead and it fit fine.  * it was pretty soupy after 10 minutes out of the oven; I imagine a few more minutes wait time might've helped it set more. 

Date Published: 2017-01-09

Author Name: Nancy Carlson

Review Body: We thought this was amazeballs! I used Julia Moskin's classic marinara recipe (wicked good). For me this made 21 shells with lots of pork leftover. I think you definitely should overfill the shells so that the filling is almost spilling out the top and it would be totally fine. Next time I'll do that. I loved this! The pork ricotta filling is soooo good! Also the dish is pretty and smells great! Nice recipe!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2017-01-12

Author Name: KennyD0204

Review Body: If I made these again I would use Italian sausage for more flavor. Also I would have cooked the sausage first and drained it before adding to the rest of the ingrediance. Needed more flavor.

Review Rating: 3

Date Published: 2017-01-27

Author Name: eblack

Review Body: I made this last night and it was delicious and very easy to assemble.  I used turkey burger instead of pork.  Because the turkey burger I bought was in a 1 lb. package, I supplemented the other 1/4 lb. of meat needed with frozen spinach that I had on hand.  I made sure to thaw the spinach and squeeze out as much water as possible before throwing it in the filling mixture.  I didn't have any fresh parsley so I didn't use any and the recipe did not suffer in my opinion.  I noticed quite a bit of water ran out of the shells from between the shell and the filling as I was plating this dish.  It was easy enough to drain off the plate and wipe clean, however, I'm not sure why this happened.  I made sure my cooked shells were dry prior to filling them.  Maybe there was still too much moisture in the spinach?  Also, due to this excess of moisture, the filling could easily slip out of the shell (like a separate ball of meat) as I was trying to cut the shells in half to eat.  Despite these unexpected happenings, I would certainly make this dish again.  The fact that it can be made ahead of time is certainly a plus also.  Thanks for the recipe!

Review Rating: 4

Date Published: 2017-01-08

Author Name: Gustavo Woltmann

Review Body: I have to try this, looks great and maybe my friends will like it

Date Published: 2017-01-29

Author Name: Diana Cole

Review Body: Quite tasty! My husband declared it his new favorite pasta dish. My only variation was adding some fennel seed to the filling.

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2017-01-29

Author Name: Marilyn E. Jess

Review Body: I used the recipe as inspiration, and tweaked it a bit. It came out perfect. I am sure the leftovers will be even tastier. I normally don't use sauce in a jar. I used Mezzetta Plum tomato sauce, with 8 oz Hunts no salt added tomato sauce added, and 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds. The aroma was heavenly!

Review Rating: 5

Date Published: 2017-01-24

Author Name: schapstickies

Review Body: I haven't made this yet,  but had to give it star's before I could ask a question. After reading the remarks about "The Water/Soupy" problem.....does anyone think that if you let the ricotta sit in a strainer for a few hour's would help? Or maybe add a bit of cornstarch to meat mixture to kind of bind the liquid would work ? Hope someone will answer quickly,  I'm wanting to make for dinner soon.

Review Rating: 4

Date Published: 2017-01-21