Jumbo pasta shells are filled with creamy ricotta, salty pancetta and chopped artichoke hearts then smothered with marinara sauce! You’ll top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake until gooey for the ultimate comfort food meal.
It’s the co coziiiiiiest time of the year!
What’s better than snuggling up on the couch with a big bowl of warm pasta!? I love making a big batch of pasta in the days leading up to Christmas… especially when you can throw everything in one dish, into the oven and back to the family!
These jumbo shells are stuffed with soft ricotta cheese, salty diced pancetta and chopped artichoke hearts then covered in marinara and mozzarella — the ultimate comfort food! You could easily add another meat for a heartier pasta or omit completely for a vegetarian meal.
I was trying to figure out the easiest way to stuff the shells mess-free and I was so excited when my idea for simplifying the process actually worked out well: Just like you were icing cookies, you’ll fill a ziplock bag with the ricotta mixture and cut off the tip of one corner. Holding the shell in one hand and the bag in the other, you’ll gently squeeze the mixture into the shell!
Here’s how you’ll make these Pancetta Artichoke Stuffed Shells:
- Cook pancetta then drain on paper towel.
- Sauté diced onion and garlic in pancetta grease.
- Pour in marinara to the onion and garlic and simmer.
- Meanwhile, boil pasta to cook then drain.
- In a 9×13 glass dish, spray cooking spray then pour in a small amount of marinara.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, cooked pancetta and artichoke hearts.
- Place ricotta mixture into a large ziplock bag and funnel to one corner.
- Snip off corner with scissors to create “icing” bag, then take one shell at a time and squeeze to fill.
- Lay stuffed shell into glass dish then repeat until filled.
- Cover with remaining marinara and top with shredded mozzarella.
- Bake for 25 minutes!
These shells are filling, totally customizable and great for feeding a big family or saving plenty of leftovers! I hope you enjoy & merry merry Christmas!
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Pancetta + Artichoke Stuffed Shells
- 1 lb. jumbo pasta shells
- ½ cup diced pancetta
- 1 15-oz. can artichoke hearts chopped finely
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 15-oz. container whole milk ricotta cheese
- 1 24-oz. jar your favorite marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a 9×13 glass dish sprayed with cooking spray, place a small amount of marinara to cover the bottom, reserving the rest.
- In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, place diced pancetta over medium heat and cook through, about 6-8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, remove pancetta from pan and let drain on paper towel, reserving grease.
- In the grease (discard some if you're left with more than about 1 tablespoon), sauté onion for 4-5 minutes then add garlic. Cook another minute then add remaining marinara sauce.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. When boiling, add jumbo shells and cook according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, combine the ricotta, cooked pancetta and artichoke hearts. Season with salt and pepper then scoop mixture into a large ziplock bag. Snip off a small corner of the bag and holding one shell, squeeze the bag to fill the shell. Place into glass dish and continue with all shells.
- Pour the marinara sauce from the pan over top of the shells, then top with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake shells for 25 minutes or until cheese has melted! Let cool slightly then serve.
How many artichoke hearts go into this? And do I need to chop or blend them first?
Hi SC! Thanks for the catch — you’ll need 1 15-oz. can of artichoke hearts chopped finely. Enjoy!