Cooking with what is in the Pantry

IMG_1985I was able to get Ragu pasta sauce this week for Free at Albertsons I decided I better cook some Pasta for my family.  To be honest if I am going to eat pasta I prefer home made Alfredo Sauce, but I know that red sauce it good for you. Plus I got it for free so it is a thrifty way to feed my family.  This recipe is one that my whole family loves, and we normally keep all the ingredients in the pantry or freezer.

IMG_1949So I went to my pantry and I had two opened boxes of pasta, both half empty I wanted to use them up.  So I used them both to make the same meal with a twist.IMG_1953Start your pasta cooking first, (while it cooks you can mix the filling for the shells). I needed to cook both kinds of pasta but the shells need to cook for 5 min longer, so I brought the water to a boil.  Added the shells,  then 5 mins later added the noodles.IMG_1957Add them to the boiling water, they will soften up and slide into the water.  Do not try to push them in or they might break.  Cook according to the box direction.  Do not over cook or they will be mushy, because you need to bake them to.


Pour your noodles into a strainer so all the hot water drains off. Then  rinse them with cold water so they will be cool enough to handle.  If you are not going to fill them right away you will need to toss a little oil on them and separate them out on wax paper so they will not stick together.

Cheese filling mixture


In a bowl add:

  • 1 package of ricotta cheese 16 oz
  • 1 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese (1/2 cup set aside for top)
  • 2 cups of mozzarella cheese grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • dash  or 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg ( sound wierd but really makes it good)
  • 2 tablespoons parsley fresh or dry

IMG_1952Mix till well blended.  Now here is the twist, normally you would just use one box of pasta shells and fill them all.  But I wanted to use up both boxes of pasta so I just made half shells and half cheesy roll ups.


Take a large scoop of filling and fill the cooked  shell.

IMG_1964Place the shell, cheese side up on a pan with pasta sauce in the bottom.

IMG_1967Now you can use the same filling to make Cheesy roll ups. Spread the filling out in a thin flat layer over the noodle.  Leave the last inch open so the noolde will stick together in the roll.

IMG_1966Roll it up….


This is what it should look like.  Place seam side down in a pan, with pasta sauce on the bottom.


Pour your jar of pasta sauce into one large 11×13 pan or you can split it up and pour half into two smaller pans.  I always use two smaller pans, and put one in the freezer.


Add another 1/2 cup of parmesan on the top


Cover them both with foil, I put one in the freezer.  Bake the other in a 350 degree oven for 35 mins, take foil off and bake for another 10 mins. ( for a total of 45 mins)


If you want to change it up a bit you can add, spinch or cooked sausage to the cheese mixture.  My family really enjoys this, hopes yours will too.

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