Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stuffed Shells

Yum!!! This was so delicious.  Serious comfort food.  I think I might even like stuffed shells better than lasagna (what?! you say)  I know! But they are really good, fun to make and something about them just makes me like really happy.  But I am easily pleased.  I adapted this recipe from one I found on the pioneer woman's site.  I didn't have any fresh basil, which she uses in her filling, and probably would have been awesome, but it didn't really suffer.  Brandon and I got 3 dinner's and a lunch out of this dish (and we ate a lot so normal people might get even more!).   Here's how you make this.


8 oz jumbo pasta shells


30 oz (weight) whole milk ricotta cheese
8 oz (weight) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cups grated Romano cheese
1 whole egg
2 T. minced parsley
(12 basil leaves, chiffonade)
salt and pepper to taste


2 T. oilve oil
1/2 whole medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pounds italian sausage
(1/2 cup red wine) (optional - I did not use)
1 whole 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 whole 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
generous pinch hot red pepper flakes
2 T. minced parsley


1.  Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time.  Drain and rinse with cold water and set aside.

2.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes, until unions are soft.

3.  Add italian sausage and brown, breaking up into small pieces with a flat wooden spoon.

4.  Add crushed tomatoes (I used fire roasted. sooo yummy!), sugar and salt and hot red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 5.  While sauce cooks, make filling by combining ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil if using (I added some dried basil), and 2 T. Parsley.  Stir until combined.

6.  Assemble!  Preheat oven to 350.  Coat bottom of baking dish with sauce (I used a 9 X 13 inch glass pan).

Fill each half-cooked shell with ricotta mixture (that is NOT my hand by the way!) (Brandon helped)

Place face down on sauce.  Repeat with remaining shells until cheese mixture is gone.

Cover with remaining sauce.

Sprinkle with remaining shredded Parmesan cheese

7.  Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.  Serve with garlic bread or other crusty bread.


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