Stuffed Pasta Shells, An Original Graziani Family Recipe

Graziani Family Recipe For Stuffed Pasta Shells 


Stuffed pasta shells with mushrooms, ham and béchamel sauce is a very appetizing first or main course. This dish is also one that can be prepared the day before an event or meal and will still taste great when served. If prepared a day prior to serving, simply bake the dish a few minutes before serving and it will come out tasting fresh and delicious.  

Texture from maruzze pasta

The jumbo pasta shells, with their hollow shape, are great for stuffing with a variety of fillings. Our recipe calls for champignon mushrooms, zucchini, ham, béchamel sauce and grated cheese; the pasta shells are then cooked under the broiler for a few minutes until slightly crispy and golden brown.


Main Ingredients | Servings: 4 persons

  •   Jumbo Shell Pasta: 10.6 oz
  •   Garlic: 2 cloves
  •   Extra Virgin Olive Oil: just under ½ cup
  •   Champignon Mushrooms: 1 lb
  •   Ham (diced): 4.5 oz
  •   Zucchini: 2
  •   Parsley (chopped): 2 tbsp
  •   Parmesan cheese (grated): 1 cup
  •   Salt: to taste
  •   Pecorino cheese (grated): ½ cup
  •   Bechamel sauce: 500 ml (2 cups)

Bechamel Sauce Ingredients | Servings: 4 persons

  • Milk: 2 pints
  • Butter: 100 g (7 tbsp)
  • Flour: 100 g (less than 1 cup)
  • Nutmeg: 1 pinch
  • Salt: 1 pinch


Initial Preparation

  1. Clean the mushrooms and cut them into cubes with a knife, about ½ inch (1 cm) on a side
  2. Do the same with the zucchini
  3. In a large pan, finely chop the cloves of garlic and sauté in 8 tablespoons of oil until light brown, then add the mushrooms and cook on a high flame
  4. Once cooked, add the chopped parsley
  5. Meanwhile prepare the béchamel sauce

Bechamel Sauce Preparation

  1. Melt the butter into a small saucepan
  2. Add the sifted flour
  3. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly to prevent it from browning or sticking to the bottom (this is called roux by the French)
  4. Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the hot milk to the roux
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon
  6. Return the pan to the heat, let it simmer on a low flame until the sauce comes to a boil, then add a pinch of salt and a pinch of nutmeg
  7. Cover the pan with a lid and let the béchamel sauce simmer, still on a low flame, for 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally

Final Preparation

    1. In a separate pan sauté the ham and zucchini cubes in 2 tablespoons of oil, until the zucchini are tender
    2. In a food processor, put the mushrooms (saving 3-4 tablespoons), the zucchini, the ham, half of the béchamel sauce, ½ cup (50 g) of grated parmesan cheese and ½ cup (50 g) of grated pecorino cheese; process at the lowest possible speed for just a few seconds, until you have a mixture with visible pieces of zucchini and mushrooms (like a ragout)
    3. Meanwhile boil the jumbo shells
    4. Drain them, al dente, and put them under cold running water to stop the cooking process
    5. Drizzle a little olive oil over and stir to keep from sticking
    6. Fill the jumbo shells with the resulting mixture, using a spoon, and line them in an oiled casserole dish
    7. Combine the reserved mushrooms with the remaining béchamel sauce (if it’s too thick, add a few tablespoons of milk to thin it), and cover the stuffed pasta shells with the resulting sauce
    8. Sprinkle with the remaining grated parmesan cheese and place under the oven grill (or in the warm over) for a few minutes, just enough to form a golden brown crust on top (about 10 minutes)
    9. Serve your stuffed pasta shells immediately 
    10. Enjoy