This baked pasta recipe from Bon Appetit is perfect comfort food on a chilly fall night. You will need a few hours to prepare this dish, but you can make it ahead.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I use Unico canned tomatoes. Check the ricotta, Parmesan and mozzarella to ensure they do not contain colour.

Make marinara sauce

Cook pasta shells

Pipe ricotta mixture into shells and layer over sauce

Top with more sauce and with mozzarella

Bake and then brown under the broiler

Stuffed shells with marinara sauce


Classic marinara sauce

¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 sprigs basil

2 28-ounce cans (796 ml) whole peeled tomatoes

Stuffed shells

12 ounces (340 g) jumbo pasta shells

2 large egg yolks

1 large egg

2 cups (500 ml) whole-milk fresh ricotta

3 ounces (85 g) Parmesan, finely grated, plus more for serving

¼ cup (60 ml) finely chopped parsley

8 ounces (226 g) low-moisture mozzarella, coarsely grated, divided

3 cups (750 ml) Classic marinara sauce, divided


Classic marinara sauce

Heat oil in a medium heavy pot over medium. Cook onion, stirring occasionally, until very soft, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft, about 5 minutes; stir in basil. Add tomatoes, crushing with your hands as you go; season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper. Let cool.

Do Ahead: Sauce can be made 1 week ahead. Cover and chill, or freeze up to 3 months.

Stuffed shells

Preheat oven to 375° F (190° C). Cook shells in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente; drain. Run under cold water to stop the cooking and drain again.

Lightly whisk egg yolks and egg in a large bowl. Stir in ricotta, Parmesan, parsley, and 1½ cups (375 ml) mozzarella; season with salt and pepper. Transfer filling to a large re-sealable plastic bag.

Spread 1½ cups (375 ml) marinara sauce in a 13 x 9-inch (33 x 22 cm) baking dish. Snip off 1 end of plastic bag and, working one at a time, squeeze filling into shells, arranging them in a single layer in baking dish as you go. Top with remaining 1½ cups (375 ml) marinara sauce and remaining mozzarella. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake shells until sauce is bubbling throughout, 35–40 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes.

Carefully move rack to top of oven and heat broiler. Uncover pasta and broil until lightly browned on top, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano and more Parmesan and drizzle with oil. Serves 8.

Do Ahead: Pasta can be baked 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat, covered, at 375° (190° C).

From Bon Appetit