Recipe Review

I Tried Martha Stewart’s Stuffed Shells and She and I Need to Have a Talk

published Aug 15, 2022
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A stuffed shell recipe from Martha Stewart in a white pan on a marble surface.
Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen; Headshot: Getty

When I was searching for stuffed shells for this recipe showdown, I came across Martha’s version, which includes radicchio, red wine vinegar, and prosciutto. It was a somewhat untraditional combination, so I was intrigued to see how everything would come together in the finished dish. Would the bitter greens and salty prosciutto be the key to next-level stuffed shells? There was only one way to find out.

Get the recipe: Martha Stewart’s Stuffed Shells

Credit: Photo: Dane Tashima; Food Styling: Jessie YuChen; Headshot: Getty

How to Make Martha’s Stuffed Shells

To start, cook the large shells in a pot of salted water until al dente. In the meantime, prepare the filling by cooking chopped prosciutto, garlic, and onion for 6 to 8 minutes. Once the prosciutto is caramelized and slightly crispy, add the chopped radicchio and cook for 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cook until evaporated. Remove from the heat and slightly cool down before stirring in the ricotta, mozzarella cheese, salt, and pepper. 

Assemble the dish by pouring two cups of tomato sauce into the bottom of each of two 8-by-12-inch baking dishes. Stuff each shell with a heaping tablespoon of filling and place them on top of the tomato sauce. Dot the shells with unsalted butter, cover with foil, and bake at 375°F. After 40 minutes of cooking, remove the foil, raise the heat to 450°F, and continue baking until golden-brown, about 15 minutes. Serve with the remaining tomato sauce and garnish with Parmesan cheese. 

My Honest Review of Martha’s Stuffed Shells

This recipe reminded me that sometimes simple is best. The combination of prosciutto and radicchio was tasty, but when I stirred it together with the ricotta and vinegar, it turned a grayish color, which was a little off-putting. I could get past the visuals if the flavor was there, but after the shells were baked the filling was overly bitter with a grainy texture. I was hopeful that the prosciutto would add some flavor and texture to the filling, but that wasn’t the case. Ultimately, this recipe wasn’t a winner for me.

Overall rating: 3/10