My kind of cereal. A few weeks ago, I made two different pasta recipes. One was regular-sized stuffed shells and the other was a creamy lemon pasta dish with medium-sized shell noodles. After making and eating both the lightbulb went off in my head and I was like OMG, what if I stuffed THE SMALLER SHELLS?!?!
Usually, mini food recipes are somewhat impractical but besides being fun as hell to eat - this is actually one of the more successful mini recipes I've made, which is why it's deserving of an entire blog post! Here's why -- the ratio of shell to cheese is actually really nice with the mini version because in the regular version, there's A LOT of cheese. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but sometimes classic stuffed shells can be super heavy on the cheese since there's so much to fill, and for someone like my husband who thinks it's too much cheese and not enough pasta - the mini version is perfect.
As far as process goes, using something to assist with filling the shells helps a lot. You could use a pastry or ziplock bag and cut a hole in the bottom corner to squeeze the ricotta cheese, but I just used an old fashioned ketchup bottle with a pointy tip. Whatever works, but I def wouldn't recommend trying to free hand it!
If you've ever been in the Southern U.S. States, you know that fried green tomatoes are huge. Every time I'm in Georgia or South Carolina I see them on every single menu. During a road trip to Florida, we stayed in a random hotel overnight to break up the drive and ordered takeout from a nearby place that had this awesome BLT Salad that I fell in love with and had to recreate to share with you guys! It was served with ranch dressing but I opted to add goat cheese instead. You could go either way!
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If you missed it, I found out this year that despite my life-long seafood allergy, I can eat mollusks. Which means I can eat clams, mussels, scallops, oysters, calamari and octopus!!! I always felt like I was missing out on the seafood pasta dishes my family would order at Italian restaurants on vacation and now that I can eat some seafood, I've been ordering it like crazy and of course, I had to try and make it at home too. Most of the times I see this kind of dish on the menu at a restaurant, there's almost always shrimp in it - so that's pretty much the only thing missing from this dish as far as what's "typical." (Sadly, I can't have shrimp, crab or lobster.)
Cooking time is a little more than my usual recipes since you have to pay close attention to preparing the scallops separately - but it's so worth it to get that tasty sear. If you're going to roast your own tomatoes and garlic like I suggest, that takes time too. You could use jarred marinara sauce but I truly think fresh is best for this one. I'd say the whole thing start to finish can be done in around 45 minutes. Like the rest of my recipes, this will serve 2 people.
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