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Dec 8, 2007 10:17 AM

Help Me Turn Ravioli Recipe Into Stuffed Shell Recipe

I have a favorite ravioli recipe I haven't made in a while since I haven't had time to make fresh pasta. I do however have some stuffed shells, so I was thinking of making the ravioli filling and putting it in stuffed shells. My issue is with baking the shells in the sauce I typically use for the ravioli.

Here is the basics of the recipe...
Filling is crabmeat, ricotta, lemon spices etc. this should transfer well into shells.

The sauce calls for diced tomatoes with salt and pepper, cook for 5 min. Add a splash of white wine and boil. Add 1 tablespoon creme fraiche and lemon zest, cook for 1 minute. Then pour sauce on the raviolies.

So my questions are...
Can I use this sauce to bake the shells in and will creme fraiche stand up to that kind of heat?
If not what other sort of liquid would you suggest I bake the shells in without adding a lot of tomato sauce?
Thanks all!

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  1. I'm not certain the creme fraiche will stand up to the heat and length of time for baking, but ricotta will. Alternatively, you could bake the shells in a bechamel sauce, then add a dollop of tomato sauce on top of each serving.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      The creme fraiche will possibly curdle with the heat from baking. I would bake them in a standard marinara, and then serve with a dollop creme fraiche.

      Alternatively you can use Gio's suggestion for a bechamel.

      1. re: Kelli2006

        I would replace the creme fraiche with regular cream. But, I might adjust the wine also.

        This is probably one of those recipes, where you are going to have to try it a couple of different ways, to see which you like best. Sounds really good though.

        BTW, if it were me, I would just get the wonton wrappers in ther refrigerator section,at your grocers and make the dish. Lot's of chefs now make rav's out of those wonton wrappers, and they are so easy to use. Giada even does it, and she's Italian.

        1. re: mcel215

          mcel215 - I was wondering about using wonton wrappers. Have you (or anyone) tried it before? I was afraid the dough would be thicker than regular pasta dough. I would be willing to try it if you or others have had good results.

          1. re: SweetPea914

            No I haven't used them yet. But, Giada DiLaurentis uses them a lot in place of homemade pasta. She has mentioned them on her show, and she's Italian, and a trained chef, so I trust her choice. And after you fill one, you need to trace around the outer edge with water, so the top half will stick!

            I am also really interested in the light tomato sauce, because I just bought some ravioli from a small company and they are Smoked Chicken, Gorganzola & carmelized onion! I was looking for a lighter sauce, and one different than the butter/sage sauce that everyone uses with it.

            Thanks for posting the recipe. And if it is against the rules, sorry I asked you to do it!

            1. re: mcel215

              Yes - I saw a show recently where I think she made a crab filling and used them. I would think that as long as you don't expect it to taste like home made pasta, it would still taste good.

              1. re: MMRuth

                Actually - they were prosciutto ones:


                The panino made on that show looked unbelievable - based on a Harry's Bar recipe:


        2. re: Kelli2006

          I didn't think it would work, and both great ideas! I love bechamel, but I think it would be too heavy a sauce for this dish. The thing I love about the sauce is that it's a very light tomato sauce, not even a marinara really since the tomatoes aren't cooked down too much. Maybe I could use the fresh tomatoes and their juices to cook the shells, then make the sauce on the stove when the shells are done, adding more fresh tomato if too thick. Or as Kelli suggested, add a dollop of creme fraiche when serving.

          1. re: SweetPea914

            Could you post the recipe? It sounds delish. I would love to try it with wonton wrappers.


            1. re: mcel215

              Ok, I just read the guidelines and hope I'm posting within them!
              The recipe is from the Williams-Sonoma Pasta Cookbook (I also really like their Soup book which came as part of a collection of 4 books I received as a shower gift a few years ago).

              Ingredients are:

              5 Tablespoons of EVOO ( I usually use about 1/2 that)
              7 green onions
              2 cloves garlic minced
              1 lb fresh lump crabmeat
              salt and pepper
              grated zest and juice of 1 large lemon
              Pinch of cayenne
              1/2 cup (4 oz) ricotta
              1/4 cup plus tablespoon creme fraiche
              10 basil leaves finely chopped plus shreds for garnish
              1 lb fresh pasta sheets
              1 tablespoon unsalted butter
              4 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely diced
              splash of dry white wine

              For filling: heat 1/2 the olive oil, add half the green onion, and 1/2 the garlic sautee a few min. Add crabmeat s&p to taste. then add lemon juice, cayenne and most of the lemon zest, combine well.
              Then add the ricotta, 1/4 cup creme fraiche and the chopped basil.
              Filling can (and should IMO) be done ahead of time up to 24 hours.

              Form raviolis, fill and cook accordingly.

              For sauce:
              Heat the other 1/2 of EVOO, add rest of green onions, then garlic, then tomatoes, S&P, cook for 5 min. Add white wine, boil 1 min. Add 1 tablespoon creme fraiche and lemon zest, cook on low 1 min.
              Pour over ravioli, garnish with basil.

              Side note: Now that I'm looking at the recipe again, I had forgotten creme fraiche also went into the filling. I think if making shells, I would need to eliminate it from the filling, or I need to use wonton wrappers and make the raviolis.

      2. i just saw a recipe for raviolis like that - I think it was on the back of the pasta box - ronzoni (i think). I know there was no crab or creme fraiche. Is u want me to look for it - tell me and I will next time i get to the kitchen.