Okay, so I was getting ready to make dinner, all excited for stuffed shells because I love them. The whole reason I was making them was because I had leftover ricotta cheese from when we had lasagna recently. Did I check the recipe before going grocery shopping? Nope, because I figured I had everything for them. Figured wrong. I had slightly more than one cup of ricotta but nowhere near the two cups I'd need to replace the one cup of cottage cheese.
So I did a little creative cooking.
My grandma's lasagna recipe uses sour cream and cream cheese, both of which I had on hand. So I used a little more than one cup of ricotta, probably 2/3 cup sour cream, and somewhere around five ounces of cream cheese (it was slightly more than half of the block). Wasn't really sure how it was going to turn out, but my universal back-up plan is the Little Ceaser's pizza a mile away and a $5 pepperoni pizza. I kept everything else the same, although I did put some mozzarella on the top. Oh, and I used an 8x8 square pan which used about half the shells (anyone want about 18 cooked pasta shells?).
I found even with the smaller pan that 20 minutes was too short. I increased the oven temperature to 400 and uncovered it and set the time for seven minutes. It maybe could have used a couple more minutes, but I gave the middle shells to my son since they weren't as hot.
So how was the filling, you ask? Fan-freakin-tastic!!! I like it so much better than the original recipe, although the husband said he'd have to have them both side by side to judge. Yeah right, like that's ever going to happen!
Next time, I'm only cooking half the box of shells and doing the small version instead of the 9x13 size. And I'm sticking with the new filling I created!