For a potluck gathering on Saturday, I decided to test out one of Giada de Laurentiis’ recipes in Food Network Favorites, a gift from May for my birthday this year. The Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce would be undoubtedly rich, but also comforting and a good make-ahead dish that could be prepared and then baked when needed.
As I started the recipe just an hour before I had to leave, my Mum had to lend me a helping hand. Between boiling the pasta, frying the pancetta then simmering the marinara sauce over the stovetop, and mixing the ricotta-parmesan filling, I should have given myself more prep time. Besides the many steps, however, it wasn’t a difficult dish to put together.
I ended up reducing the addition of red pepper flakes to one teaspoon, and I was glad that I did – the sauce had quite a bit of heat going for it already (apparently, “arrabbiata” is Italian for “angry”, encouraging the use of more spice). Also, for presentation and taste, I should have included more herbs or greens in the ricotta stuffing.
This Giada recipe is another winner! I really should buy myself some of her cookbooks…