Sunday, November 16, 2008


WOW! This recipe I found in my Everyday Pasta is super yummy! It went perfect with our chicken stuffed pasta shells & salad...I am for sure going to make this again soon, Chad loved it & so did our guests!!

~1 1/2 cups balsamic vinegar
~3 tbsp. granulated sugar
~12 1/2"-inch thick slices of ciabatta bread (I bought a fresh loaf from Nino's)
~2 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened (I used way more ti wasnt enough)

Boil the balsamic vinegar and 3 tbsp of sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally, approx. 20 minutes.

Toast the bread slices. Spread the butter over the toasts. Arrange toasts on platter. Drizzle the reduced balsamic syrup over the toasts. If desired, sprinkle sugar & serve!

Had to make this dish after I saw it on love deliciousness blog! I always joke that I think I am secretly Italian because all I want to eat is pasta, pasta & more pasta!! I could eat spaghetti three times a day!! I have no italian blood in me, but Chad is like 25% italian...and he wishes I would stop making things with tomatoes & onion for at least a week...LOL! Poor guy...I could seriously live on green peppers, onions & tomatoes!! Sorry, you can't really see the shells because I poured so much sauce over mine! These were so good, and we had the left overs for lunch today...4 shells each was enough for us. I also made homemade spaghetti sauce with ours instead of using jar pasta sauce ;)
~1 box jumbo shell pasta (I used 1 box of Barilla)
~6 garlic cloves
~2 med chicken breasts cooked & shredded
~30 oz. ricotta (part skim)
~1/3 cup italian bread crumbs
~1 1/2 tsp. salt (I only used a few dashes)
~1/2 tsp. pepper
~1 1/2 tsp. parsley (I used fresh chopped)
~6 large basil leaves, torn
~1/3 cup of half & half
~1/4 cup parmesan cheese
~24 oz. pasta sauce (I made homemade, see bottom for receipe)
Cook pasta shells according to package. Drain shells, and place on wax paper to prevent them sticking together; let cool.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine all ingredients from garlic to half & half in food processor (I just mixed together in med size bowl). Spoon ricotta mixture into shells; coat spaghetti sauce to bottom of 9x13" pan. Place shells in pan, open end up. Spoon remaining spaghetti sauce over shells. Cover pan with foil & bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil & bake for an additional 5 minutes. Sprinkle parmesan over shells & serve!!
Spaghetti Sauce:
~1 large can of diced tomatoes
~1 large can of tomato sauce
~1 small tomato paste w/ italian seasonings
~1 med onion chopped
~4 garlic cloves minced
~1 tbsp. basil to taste
~1 tsp. oregano to taste or italian seasonings
~1 green pepper chopped if desired
If you are using ground beef. Brown beef in saucepan until browned with garlic & onion; add ground beef to crock pot with sauces.
Add all ingredients into crock pot & cook on low for 8 hours; or high for 4 hours. You can also leave simmering all day.

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