Beef & Pork, Food, Main Dishes

Stuffed Shells

Get ready for a very tasty meal coming to a blog near you…

The hubby decided he was going to make me dinner for Valentine’s Day this year.  In my book, that’s pretty darn sweet of him, since I am usually responsible for our meals every night.  He chose to make my aunt Colleen’s Stuffed Shells recipe (not sure where she got it from).  He’s made it before and it’s always a winner in my book.  (I’m a sucker for all things Italian anyway.)  So while I’ve never actually made this recipe before, I’ve tasted it, and it is absolutely delicious!

He served it with some great crusty French bread, dipping oil, and a salad.  Hats off to my husband for a delicious meal! 🙂

He had a little extra work cut out for himself this time, since I now make my sauce from scratch using this  recipe instead of using jarred sauce.  He used a full recipe of the sauce, and I had about a cup of sauce leftover in the freezer that he used as well. (I like my Italian with plenty of red sauce.)
Homemade sauce is so much better than jarred sauce and really makes this recipe.  Go for it and make your own sauce!

We also had some fresh homemade ricotta cheese leftover from another dish I’d made, so he used that as well, instead of store-bought.  If you’ve never made homemade ricotta, check out this post. It sooo easy (and a little cheaper than store-bought) that I don’t think I’ll ever buy it again.

Colleen’s Stuffed Shells
Yield: 24 jumbo stuffed shells
For the filling:
1/2 pound ground beef/turkey, cooked
1 egg, beaten
1 cup ricotta cheese (homemade recipe here)
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 Tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste

additional ingredients:
24 Jumbo Shells (1 box)
1 1/2-2 jars/cans spaghetti sauce (or 39-52 ounces pasta sauce)

1. Cook 24 jumbo pasta shells according to package directions. Drain. (You might want to cook a few extra shells in case some of them break/tear while cooking.)
2. While the pasta is cooking, combine all ingredients for the filling and mix well. Once the pasta is cooked, stuff each shell with 1 heaping Tablespoon of the cheese/meat mixture.  Pour 1/2 cup of pasta sauce in bottom of 9x13inch pan and spread around.  Place stuffed shells in pan, open side up.  Pour the remaining pasta sauce over top the shells.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350° for 30 – 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

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