Whenever someone tells me about their love affair with food and the kitchen, I can really say “I know what you mean”, after all my passion for the kitchen and food goes back as far as I can remember.
Some of my fondest early childhood memories revolve around our modest little kitchen and my busy mother preparing food. I can still see her now stretching out that old yellow telephone cord as far as it would reach as she stirred pasta, simmered sauces and soups and pulled things from the oven, the whole time while she would talk with her friend on the phone and dodge myself and my younger brother Mike who toiled along at her pant leg. My brother Mike and I loved the kitchen. We still do. As small boys, the kitchen was the place to be for us. Billowing steam rising to the ceiling from a pot of simmering homemade ravioli, the cool rush of fresh air when the refrigerator door opened and closed, and the occasional free sampler my mom would pass down to us were just a few of the wonderful things in the kitchen. The kitchen was magic. And Mike and I spent a lot of time in there. We couldn’t wait for our chance to drop some bread in that cool fire red toasting machine or turn those black knobs and make fire appear instantly. And fortunately for us, our mom knew what we wanted to do as well and kept that ever watchful eye upon us. So I dedicate this recipe from “The Teapot Catering Company” to my mom. Thanks Mom. You are still my favorite Chef!
(serves approx. 8)
- 16 Pasta Shells
- 2 lbs. ricotta or cottage cheese
- 1/2 lb. Mozzarella cheese, grated
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 c. Parmesan, grated
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1 tsp. parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare pasta shells. Bring water to boil and then add pasta, boil pasta approximately 5 minutes.
Prepare cheese filling. Beat eggs; add ricotta, Mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese; mix in seasonings. Using a large casserole dish, layer sauce and pasta shells which are stuffed with the cheese filling. Bake 45 minutes.
Chef Bob Aylwin is the former dining room chef for the Ritz Carlton Hotel Chains in Boston, Massachusetts, Naples, Florida and San Francisco, California. *He won the title of Collier County Ice Carving Champion in 1992 and 1993. He is the Owner/Operator of “The Teapot Cafe and Catering Company” 695 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island