Lemon-Basil Ricotta Stuffed Shells in a Champagne Cream Sauce

Can you EVEN believe I almost forgot to share with you this delicious baked pasta recipe? It was back in November when I made this pasta… and I remember the day perfectly…

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It was real sunny. My hair in a scrunchy, the stretchy grey comfy-pants are on, I was totally rocking the whole I-don’t-give-a-care-what-I-look-like-it’s-my-day-off look like nobody’s business. I’d once again put laundry on the back burner that afternoon {who has time for THAT?}, turned on a little Florence and the Machine, opened the fridge to get the creamer for my coffee and then I spied the champagne and then… the cream. I squinted at the cream… then back to the champagne… then back to the cream… then, well you get the point.

POW {that’s the sound it makes in my brain when a recipe happens}! Thanks to one-too-many aired Olive Garden commercials advertising some pasta dish with champagne cream sauce and of course a huge THANKS to that left over lemon and basil ricotta, because at that very second it dawned on me; PRC… pasta, ricotta, champagne cream sauce! Not only was it fun to make… but a little messy, messy and I got to sip on a lot little bubbly while I was cooking. It was only 12:30ish… it felt awesome. It WAS awesome.


Please don’t think I ran out and bought champagne. No, no, no… I have had it in my fridge for two freeeeaking years! My friend Heidi left it two {maybe three} New Year’s Eves ago! Does champagne go bad??


Butter a baking dish and set aside.


On the large holes of your box grater; shred a cup of Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese.


Season the ricotta with a little extra salt and pepper if you haven’t already.


Combine half of the pecorino with the ricotta and set aside.


Measure out 3/4 cup of champagne.


Cook the pasta just short of al dente in salted water.


Drain and spread them out onto a rimmed sheet pan or some parchment paper.


Stuff each shell with some of the cheese and place them in your prepared dish.


In a small sauce pan, melt three tablespoons of butter and add some finely minced garlic. I pressed mine in with a garlic press, it saves SO much time.


Whisk until the garlic softens and is fragrant but not brown.


Add in the flour and whisk, whisk, whisk until it is absorbed. Cook the flour mixture for a minute.


Then pour in the champagne…


Next add in the half a cup of heavy cream. Whisk, whisk, whisk some more.


Season with fresh ground black pepper.


And then pour it over the stuffed shells. If things are smelling heavenly, then you’re on the right track!


Top with the remaining Pecorino Romano and place in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling. I didn’t write how long I baked this for… sorry bout that. If I had to guess… 20-25 minutes.


Remove and let cool a bit before serving. Sometimes all one needs is a little pasta, a little cream sauce and a glass of champagne in the middle of the afternoon to make’em feel awesome.


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Lemon-Basil Ricotta Stuffed Shells in a Champagne Cream Sauce

Yield: serves 2-4 depending

Ingredients:

1 box Jumbo Shells, you won't use them all but some may break in the cooking process

1-1/2 cups Lemon Basil Ricotta

1 cup Pecorino Romano, grated on the largest holes of a box grater

3 tablespoons of Butter

3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour

1 clove of Garlic

3/4 cup Champagne

1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Kosher Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Directions:

Butter a large {or two small} baking dish and bring a large pot of water to boil and season generously with kosher salt. Cook the jumbo shell pasta two to three minutes shy of al dente {or shy of the box directions}.

Mean while, season the ricotta with salt and black pepper. Mix in half of the grated pecorino and set aside.

Once the pasta is partially cooked, drain well and spread out onto a rimmed baking sheet or some parchment paper. With a spoon stuff enough shells until the ricotta is gone and place the stuffed shells into the prepared dishes. Discard or save any unused shells for another purpose.

In a small sauce pan melt three tablespoons of butter, once melted press {or finely minced} in one clove of garlic. Cook until fragrant and soft, but not browned. Whisk in the three tablespoons of flour and cook, while whisking, for a minute. Pour in champagne, still whisk while you pour in the heavy cream. Let bubble {still whisking} until slightly thick 1-2 minutes. Add some fresh ground black pepper, then remove and pour evenly over the stuffed shells.

Place in a preheated 350 degree oven and bake until the cheese has melted and the sauce is bubbly. About 20-25 minutes.

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47 Responses to “Lemon-Basil Ricotta Stuffed Shells in a Champagne Cream Sauce”

  1. #
    1
    Warm Vanilla Sugar — January 23, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    These sound so freaking yummy! Love this idea!

  2. #
    2
    GF Gidget — January 23, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    You. Are. Brilliant. (nuff said)

  3. #
    3
    Sally @ Spontaneous Hausfrau — January 23, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    I would like to bathe in that sauce and not wash it off. Okay?

  4. #
    4
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — January 23, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    i don't know what's wrong with me, but i've never even attempted stuffed shells before. this needs to be remedied, STAT. oh, and i need to take a shot of that champagne cream sauce. STAT :)

  5. #
    5
    Blog is the New Black — January 23, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    OMG! Laurie, a recipe with a CHAMPAGNE cream sauce?! This sounds like a celebratory meal… perhaps V-day day? Stunning, absolutely stunning pics!

  6. #
    6
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — January 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Ohmygosh you're cracking me up here!

  7. #
    7
    Julie @ Table for Two — January 23, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I'm in. Anything with champagne and cream sauce. Yes yes! Love this :)

  8. #
    8
    Abby — January 23, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    So decadent! Love this.

  9. #
    9
    Mrs. Schwartz — January 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    Stooooop it! I'm totally making these for my dinner party this weekend! I was struggling to figure out what to make. Thank you, thank you!

  10. #
    10
    CulinaryCache — January 23, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    This looks like a delicious recipe. I love the idea of using champagne in a cream sauce. Great post!

  11. #
    11
    Bev Weidner (Bev Cooks) — January 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    OOOOOO.
    MMMMMM.
    GGGGGG.

  12. #
    12
    Aarthi — January 23, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    They look delicious..Thanks for posting it dear..

    Aarthi
    http://yummytummy-aarthi.blogspot.com/

  13. #
    13
    Erika — January 23, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    YUM! P.S. Where did you get your salt and pepper shakers?? So cute!

  14. #
    14
    Steph — January 23, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I would devour this whole dish!! So creamy and comforting!!

  15. #
    15
    marthameetslucy — January 23, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    Wait, you had a bottle of champagne for two years? That's crazy talk. I get one home and it lasts until the next weekend. I looove stuffed shells.

  16. #
    16
    Kiri W. — January 23, 2012 at 7:50 pm

    Champagne cream? Oh man, you live to torture me! ;) That looks so, so delicious.

  17. #
    17
    RavieNomNoms — January 23, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    YUM!! This looks great! I loved stuffed shells.

  18. #
    18
    kale @ tastes good to me! — January 23, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Having the self-control to leave champagne in your fridge for 2 years…what must that be like? ;) Gorgeous recipe!

  19. #
    19
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — January 23, 2012 at 8:39 pm

    Ok, yum!! I have champagne in my fridge too – what an amazing idea!

  20. #
    20
    dinnerordessert — January 24, 2012 at 2:04 am

    I have to make this, looks so good!!

  21. #
    21
    Kim Bee — January 24, 2012 at 3:03 am

    This is amazing. I love how pretty it is. You dress like me when cooking. I just wish it was socially acceptable to go out in public like that.

  22. #
    22
    Jessica @ How Sweet — January 24, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    I haven't been able to stop thinking about these shells. I must make them!

  23. #
    23
    Eating in Bed — January 25, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I loved this recipe so much I shared it on my site's facebook :D The site's eatinginbed.com but I will be making these stuffed shells! My mom made them all the time growing up and it was always with a red sauce, so I'm excited for a creamy variation!

  24. #
    24
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com — January 25, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    That looks divine! I want to face-plant in it :D

  25. #
    25
    Beth Michelle — January 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    I was just saying the other day how I wanted to make stuffed shells. This sauce looks super incredible.

  26. #
    26
    Simply Stacie — January 28, 2012 at 1:18 am

    Wow these look amazing and something I could totally make!

  27. #
    27
    Lizzy T — January 29, 2012 at 2:40 am

    Made this today. Simply amazing. Thank you!

  28. #
    28
    Liz Mazzei — January 30, 2012 at 3:39 am

    This looks AMAZING! Can't WAIT to try!

  29. #
    29
    Cookin' Canuck — February 1, 2012 at 8:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous recipe! Champagne sauce? Yep, I'm sold.

  30. #
    30
    Susann — February 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    One more great Pasta-Recipe! Thank you Canuck. Greatz from me and my man too.

  31. #
    31
    tom@morethanpepper — February 2, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    all pasta is good pasta

  32. #
    32
    Herschelian — February 3, 2012 at 7:06 pm

    I can't believe you had a bottle of Champagne in your fridge for TWO years and you didn't drink it!!! Wow, your self-control is amazing. I subscribe to Mme Bollinger's view (she of the great French Champagne house):

    Champagne

    She was asked "When do you drink champagne?", and replied:
    "I only drink champagne when I'm happy, and

  33. #
    33
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — February 3, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    Love it!

  34. #
    34
    Anonymous — February 7, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    How did you make the lemon basil ricotta cheese?
    It's probably simple but do you have an exact recipe?!

    Looks delish!!

  35. #
    35
    Anonymous — February 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    This might be silly but how much lemon and basil did you put into the ricotta?? The recipe just states to use lemon basil ricotta, did you buy it that way?? Thank you.

  36. #
    36
    Laurie {Simply Scratch} — February 8, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Hi there! Here is the link to the lemon basil ricotta :) http://www.simplyscratch.com/2012/01/homemade-lemon-basil-ricotta.html

  37. #
    37
    Stacy — March 5, 2012 at 1:18 am

    I made this tonight. If I die tonight, I'll die happy. If I could marry a pasta dish, it would be this one. If I name my next child lemon-basil-ricotta stuffed shells with champagne cream sauce, it would not surprise me.

    Thanks x's 1,000,000.

  38. #
    38
    table top fridge — May 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm

    They look delicious..Thanks for posting it dear..

  39. #
    39
    Alex — May 6, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    i'll tell ya..i just made this and it is fantastic!! i went through some other recipes that you have [which i will definitely be making] and i love your humor! thanks for this :)

  40. #
    40
    Maggie — September 17, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    Any tips for preparing some of this ahead of time? (I know the cheese can be done ahead of time) but what about the sauce, or all of it?

    Very excited to try this out!

    Thanks!

  41. #
    41
    Amanda — April 17, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Making this tonight for a guy I’ve been dating! Just worried about there being enough sauce and whether the champagne flavor comes through?

    • simplyscratch replied: — April 17th, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

      You should be fine :) I can definitely taste the wine too! Enjoy!

  42. #
    42
    Mariela — August 15, 2014 at 6:11 am

    Es una receta maravillosa, felicitaciones !
    It is an amazing recipe, congratulation !

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