Italian cuisine may taste delicious, but making it yourself is much harder than it looks! As with any great recipe, the finer details need to be emphasized for best results. If you overlook these, it can lead to disaster for your dish! Stuffed shells are a delicious Italian classic that relies on the small details to work properly. Common issues have popped up time and time again: shells being too watered-down, shells sticking together, and shells not being able to hold the filling. To avoid each of these issues, we’ll give our expert advice on stuffed shell preparation below!
Avoiding The Shells Sticking Together
In order for the stuffed shells to be as tasty as possible, you’ll need to be able to actually separate them! Achieving this is easier said than done, but it can be corrected by solving a common misconception about pasta-making. You should only be cooking the shells to al dente to start! Once your shells have reached this point, drain the hot water from the pot and replace it with cold water. This stops the shells from cooking any further than you want them to and also ensures that they won’t stick together upon serving.
Avoiding Watery Fillings
The biggest causes of the shells being too watery upon serving have nothing to do with the shells themselves but the cheese filling inside! When you’re buying your ricotta, pay careful attention to the added ingredients. The option that you choose should be the one with the most basic ingredients. Avoid anything that mentions gums as an ingredient, as they are the main contributor to your ricotta getting too watery. As the ricotta heats, it releases the excess water – which can lead to a very unsatisfying final product!
Avoid The Shells Not Being Able To Hold Filling
When assembling most basic pasta dishes, the end goal should be to have them with a smooth and soft texture that’s easy to chew. This is the case for many different types of pasta – with the exception of stuffed shells! Stuffed shells need to be harder than other types in order for them to be able to hold the filling. This is why we recommend cooking them to al dente level – because if gives them the hardness they need to store big ricotta fillings! As long as you abide by these three rules, you’ll avoid the worst-case scenario with your stuffed shells.
Stuffed Shells with Bricco Salumeria
Sometimes, a good recipe isn’t worth the hassle of making yourself. If you have guests to entertain and are craving Italian food, Bricco Salumeria has you covered! We specialize in Italian cuisine and catering dishes that help keep even the biggest parties satisfied. Visit us in the North End today to make your next social event a success!