Wednesday, April 11, 2012
I love pierogis, those little ravioli filled with mashed potato, cheese, and onions, but I don't have time to make my own pasta dough and stuff the pierogi on a regular basis. So I developed this recipe with inspiration from some similar recipes that did not seem to have such hearty flavor to them. It is a great treat to make when you have lots of potatoes in your cellar!
This is an adaptation of my pierogi lasagna recipe, which just substitutes layers of lasagna noodles and stuffs them with the potato filling. This week, the grocery only had the large shells available, and I'm glad. I think stuffing the shells, even though it is a bit more work, gives a better product.
1 5lb. bag Yukon Gold potatoes (or similar quantity from storage)
1/2 cup milk
12 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, plus a couple of handfuls for topping
1 box large pasta shells
1 oz green onions (about 3)
1 oz Swiss chard
cracked black pepper
Boil pasta shells until al dente; you want them to still have some body to them. Drain and set aside.
In the meantime, peel and boil the potatoes and proceed to make mashed potatoes with the addition of a half cup of milk and 12 oz. of sharp cheddar cheese. Whip the potatoes with an electric mixer for the creamiest texture. Add chopped green onions, Swiss chard, and black pepper to taste. (While the green onions are standard, I added some chard for extra green and flavor. You could add any of your garden greens you like.)
Stuff the pasta shells with about 1-2 tablespoons of potatoes and place in an oiled baking dish. It doesn't matter if you over-stuff. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, black pepper, and thyme to taste. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted.
The remaining potato stuffing will reheat well or make good potato pancakes!
Fast: Probably an hour and a quarter total prep time, but much of that is because I am not very fast at potato-peeling. Certainly, this is faster than making my own pasta dough too.
Cheap: The recipe relies on potatoes, green onions, and chard, all of which can come from your garden. I did have to buy potatoes because I had such a bad year last year. You will always have to buy the shells and cheese that this depends on, unless your cheese-making skills are such that you have wheels of cheddar in your cellar. (In which case, we need to be friends!)
Good: The whole recipe made two pans of carb-coma-inducing goodness, enough for about 5-6 servings with some potato pancakes later in the week.
Posted by Jennifer Lorenzetti at 10:36 AM