Pam Anderson’s Shells and Cheese For Everyone

by Maris Callahan on March 13, 2012

Truth: I have more cookbooks than I know what to do with.

I used to have two ladder-style shelves, each constructed from two separate pieces that fit neatly together to form a loose hinge so the shelves appear that they’re leaning on the wall. One sits in my living room, positioned neatly in a corner next to a window, filled with novels, picture frames, a fake plant that most people think is real and dead. The other shelf used to live on the other side of the room, closer to where my kitchen and eating area are. That piece was for cookbooks.

I don’t know if it was the weight of the cookbooks on the shelf or if I had simply done a hasty job of assembling said shelf, but the latter unit always looked as if it were about to keel over. Friends would come over and point out to me that my shelf looked as though it were about to come crashing to the ground under its own weight, but I would just laugh it off and insist that my furniture assembly abilities far surpassed all else and that there was no way the shelf would come crumbling down.

You know where this is going.

In December, on what could have very well been my busiest workday of the year, two days before my annual holiday party, I decided to move some furniture. I wanted to shift a chair, as well as my Leaning Tower of Bookshelf, just a few inches to the left so that I would have room to put a Christmas tree up before my party. Shelf comes crashing down, books go with it. Shelf breaks, I purchase a newer, sturdier shelf to replace it and somehow con my friend Charlette into putting it together for me, since I did such a bang-up job the first time.

For whatever reason, my cookbooks have gotten more play since I replaced the shelf. Maybe it’s because I’m no longer afraid of setting a natural disaster in motion each time I remove one from its place, but I have been cooking from books more often in the past few months and one of the books I recently extracted from its new home is Pam Anderson’s Perfect One Dish Dinners.

There are a lot of delicious-looking, healthy-sounding recipes in the book, but naturally the one that jumped off the pages and begged me to make it was cheese-laden and less-than good for you.

So I had did what any normal weight-conscious woman would do and ate two bowls.

Pam Anderson’s Shells and Cheese for Everyone

Serves 2 (I kid, I kid. Serves 8-10).
From Perfect One Dish Dinners

What You Need

1 pound medium sized Pasta Shells
1 pound grated sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 container (16 oz) Cottage Cheese
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1 container (16 oz) Sour Cream
Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 cup plain dry Bread Crumbs
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Parsley
3 Tablespoons Butter, melted


Make sure oven rack is in the lower middle position and heat oven to 350F degrees. Coat 13×9 baking dish or dutch oven with cooking spray. Following package directions, cook entire box of pasta until just tender.

Mix cheeses and sour cream in a large bowl. Add the hot pasta and toss to coat thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste and transfer to casserole dish. Mix bread crumbs, parsley, and butter together in a small bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the shells and cheese (I forgot the parsley. I didn’t miss it).

Bake 30-35 minutes until the casserole is bubbly and crumbs are golden brown. Don’t share the leftovers with anyone.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Simply Life March 13, 2012 at 6:09 am

I have a growing collection of cookbooks as well and I actually don’t think I’ve ever bought a single one! I try to use them all but some just seem to be better at collecting dust :)


Kate Wall March 13, 2012 at 8:26 am

This sounds delicious and I would eat two bowls too! Yum! Definitely need to put this at the top of my list :-)


T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types March 13, 2012 at 8:31 am

I actually have cookbooks in the kitchen, the bedroom, the study and the basement. Someday I might turn the guestroom into a cookbook library! That last minute disaster always happens to me, but it’s usually breaking glass, or dropping an entire container of juice. I’ve never had a shelf collapse (knock on wood veneer) but I’m always happy to discover a new mac and cheese recipe!


Bee (Quarter Life Crisis Cuisine) March 13, 2012 at 9:49 am

This looks like a great comfort food dish :)


Kay March 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

I’m glad you didn’t get hurt! This recipe looks delicious :o )


katelin March 13, 2012 at 3:40 pm

this sounds like heaven. must make this.


Marsha @ The Harried Cook March 13, 2012 at 8:00 pm

Oh my! I am glad you didn’t hurt yourself… this cheesy dish sounds perfect for our home! Thanks for sharing :)


Amanda March 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

The mac and cheese looks delicious. Sadly, I’m the only one in my house who will eat it. have you ever heard of little boys who refuse to eat mac and cheese? It’s just weird! ;) I have a similar collection of cookbooks. The story telling in cookbooks is one of my favorite things in them.


Kelly March 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm

Ah that shelf! I probably would have done the same thing upon reading this book, but I’m also a mac & cheese lover. The idea of using sour cream is intriguing. I may have to try that. I’ve seen ones that use greek yogurt but that seems like taking things a step too far into health conscious land.

P.S. How fantastic is this weather!


Lisa March 15, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Mmm, this looks good. I’ve been into making my own and I add cauliflower, one day when I get organized I’ll post it! Have a great day!


The Waspy Redhead March 16, 2012 at 12:31 pm

I literally laughed out loud at your suggested number of servings. :)


Maris Callahan March 16, 2012 at 12:40 pm

:-) Glad I could entertain.


Roz@weightingfor50 March 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

Hi MARIS!!!! Hope you are doing well! Know what? I have WAY WAY too many cookbooks too. WAY too many! The way I see it, we all have vices….mine are cookbooks and coffee. :) Hope you have a great weekend!


Susan March 17, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I was just organizing my cookbooks this morning and thinking that I would never see every recipe in each one! What a bowl of delicious comfort food.


The Teacher Cooks March 18, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Cookbooks are my weakness! I love this recipe for Mac n cheese!


Kitchen Belleicious March 19, 2012 at 6:45 am

I’m on the too many cookbooks bandwagon too! Way too many! Love this shell and cheese recipe! It looks delicious


Geni March 19, 2012 at 10:44 pm

That’s exactly what I would have picked first out the book too. Great minds think alike. What a comforting bowl of cheesy goodness!


leslie March 20, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Falling cookbooks is never a good thing!!!
This seconds wonderful! I have weird kids that don’t like mac and cheese so this might be dangerous for me to make as I will probably eat it all


Caroline March 21, 2012 at 12:56 pm

Oh yum, Maris, that mac and cheese looks incredible!! I have too many cookbooks as well, and my recipe book is literally overflowing. Sorry to hear about the shelf crashing, but at least it forced you to put more of the cookbooks to use so you could find new recipes! :)


Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic March 23, 2012 at 9:52 am

Yum mac and cheese with cottage cheese and sour cream? And a one-dish recipe? I LOVE this!


Gen March 28, 2012 at 8:59 am

Yum!!! I’ve never used cottage cheese in a mac n’ cheese style dish before….sounds delicious!


Grandma Kat @ Easy Recipes Land March 28, 2012 at 3:15 pm

This looks like an interesting way to make mac and cheese. So, I’ll give it a try tomorrow for sure.

Thanks for the recipe,

Grandma Kat


Hotly Spiced March 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm

I think most of us have a deep hatred for self-assembly. I blame Ikea. Before Ikea you could only buy furniture already assembled. Those were the days!


Katie@Real Food Katie's Way April 2, 2012 at 5:13 pm

Holy cow this looks good!! There’s something just so comforting about homemade macaroni and cheese isn’t there?

I cannot get enough!


Alexis @ There She Goes April 9, 2012 at 1:47 pm

i think my boyfriend would like to spend some quality alone time with this dish ;)


peachkins April 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm

Oh I have to do this….


saltandserenity July 12, 2012 at 8:26 pm

Oh, that Pam Anderson! Here i was thinking it was Pamela Anderson”s recipe for mac and cheese!


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