Baked Stuffed Shells – A complete disaster with two surprises

by yearoffood

Lidia’s Italy in America
The watery limp mess that came out of my oven was nothing like the cheesy, crusty dish that Lidia prepared on her show.  I have been dying to try this dish for so long – and I was so disappointed that I was pretty sure this food journal had reached an end.  It was no fun to even think about recording this failure.  This morning, with my mug of coffee, I watched the darn video again.  OK so here is one of the surprises.  This dish looks so good that I am actually going to try to make it again very soon.   Why try again?  It just looks so good.  I reread the recipe and saw that I was supposed to slosh out the tomato can with some water to add to the sauce – not fill the entire 28 ounce can with water.  That could change things.  Actually in the video Lidia just adds a few ladles of water from the pasta and her sauce is thick and beautiful.  The other surprise it the light taste this dish had.  While I was making it – cheese, cheese, and cheese as the main ingredients I was thinking that this dish would be decadently rich and heavy.  Quit the opposite – the dish was quite light tasting – light tasting and runny but still light tasting.  I guess it is the ricotta that produces this.  I use a wonderful local ricotta from Bellwether Farms in Sonoma and I think it deserves another chance.  This is a 360 degree turn around from last night when I refused to even rate the meal.  Honestly, that video deserves an Oscar.

xo Spicy Diva

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