The pantry and fridge in our home has been pretty empty since Thanksgiving. Before the holiday the only food items on the shopping list were those required for my Thanksgiving contributions. And for the cookies that needed to be made as soon as we returned. I provided 107 cookies for a Cookie Drive for the local unaccompanied airmen who will be spending the holidays without their families. The cookies were due on the 3rd so December 1st and 2nd was Operation Cookie in my kitchen. Don’t worry, you’ll be seeing the recipes later this month!
I’ve also been slowed down with a wonderful December cold – which I have unfortunately passed on to my 5 month old. He’s taking it like a champ though and it’s not slowing him down.
And to top it all off my car’s check engine light came on before Thanksgiving and is finally awaiting its “doctor appointment”. Which means I have no means of going to the grocery store. I don’t think Sparrow appreciates the cold.
So I found myself brainstorming what I could possibly do with whatever I had in the fridge. I had some bacon, I had my staple of corn in the freezer, and I always have onions, there was some ricotta cheese left over from the twice baked sweet potatoes, and I had plenty of heavy cream. I also thought I had some jumbo pasta shells so that’s the direction I went. I still had to have Stuart hit the grocery store for a couple finishing ingredients (like more jumbo pasta shells, 7 wasn’t going to cut it, and Parmesan cheese) along with groceries for the rest of the week.
This recipe, I am proud to say, is a Lauren original. And one that turned out quite well, if I say so myself! Loaded with cheese and cream it doesn’t exactly fit on a diet plan, but it’s a wonderful comfort food dish. This filling would also be great in ravioli for a quicker meal. Serve these shells with a side salad for a complete meal. The filling stuffed 14 shells perfectly, and we had 2 left over. So I’d say it feeds 2-3.
Bacon and Corn Stuffed Shells
- 4 strips center cut bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 C chicken stock (or white wine if you have it)
- 1 1/3 C heavy cream
- 14 jumbo pasta shells
- 1 C whole-milk ricotta cheese
- 1/2 C frozen corn, thawed
- 1/4 C + 1/3 C shredded Parmesan cheese, divided use
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cook bacon in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. When crispy, remove to a paper towel lined plate. Saute onion in bacon grease until translucent. Season with S+P. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 60 seconds. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock (or wine), scrapping up delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a bubble and let reduce, about 3 minutes. Slowly add in the heavy cream, whisking. Reduce the heat and let simmer 7-10 minutes, until reduced. Stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cook pasta shells according to package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare the filling: In a bowl combine ricotta, corn, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, and cooked bacon. Season to taste with S+P. Stir in 1 egg.
- Spoon a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spoon the filling into the shells when cool enough to handle and place in the casserole dish. Top shells with sauce, reserving 1/2 C for serving and/or leftovers.
- Bake shells for 20 minutes. Top with remaining Paremsan and bake another 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.