Ellen Bales


I am always up for a good Italian dish. I think there must have been an Italian hiding somewhere in my German ancestry because I could eat the food every day. The original recipe wasn't quite Italian enough for me, so I tweaked it a bit.

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40 Min
45 Min


dried jumbo shell macaroni
8 oz
dried tiny shell macaroni (2 cups)
2 c
gruyere cheese, shredded (8 oz.)
2 c
shredded sharp cheddar cheese (8 oz.)
3/4 c
half-and-half or light cream
1/2 tsp
italian seasoning
1/8 tsp
white or black pepper
1 clove
garlic, minced
1 jar(s)
(24 oz.) vodka sauce or tomato-based pasta sauce
4 oz
brick cheese or mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup)
fresh basil leaves, optional


Step 1 Direction Photo

1Cook the jumbo shells according to package directions. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer shells to a colander. Rinse with cold water; drain well and set aside.

Step 2 Direction Photo

2In the same pan cook tiny shells according to package directions. Drain; set aside.

Step 3 Direction Photo

3In a large saucepan combine Gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, half-and-half, Italian seasoning, garlic, and pepper. Heat over medium low heat until cheese is melted and smooth, stirring frequently. Stir in tiny shells.

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4Spread about 1/2 cup of the vodka sauce in the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish.

Step 5 Direction Photo

5Spoon cheese-shell mixture into drained jumbo shells; place stuffed shells in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining sauce.

Step 6 Direction Photo

6Bake, covered, in a preheated 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with brick cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 15 minutes more or until heated through.

7Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

About this Recipe

Course/Dish: Pasta
Main Ingredient: Pasta
Regional Style: Italian
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tags: Quick & Easy, For Kids, Healthy