Friday, January 13, 2012

Stuffed Shells

A family favorite in our household! This recipe will make enough to feed a crowd...which is what I did.

One of my dear friends from NM came to stay with us over New Year's weekend with her husband and kids. She has 3 little boys, we have 3 little boys, so to say the least there was a whole lot of mouths to feed! The stuffed shells did the trick.
This recipe will make two trays (about 32-36 shells.) Keep in mind you can always cut the recipe in half, or just freeze the other half for an easy weeknight dinner.


1 box of jumbo pasta shells
1 lb of ground mild Italian sausage
3 jars of your favorite pasta sauce or about 6 cups of homemade sauce (will post my recipe for that later)
3- 15oz containers of part skim ricotta cheese
1 C of grated or shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs
2 T of fresh flat leaf parsley chopped
6 cloves of finely chopped garlic (you can also use the chopped garlic in a jar that you buy at the store, if so you will need about 2 T)
1 t red pepper flakes
1 T of finely chopped fresh basil, when using herbs fresh is always better but you can substitute dried basil if that's what you have on hand
2 t of kosher salt
1 t of pepper
2-3 C of shredded mozzarella cheese


Boil shells according to package directions, when they are done run under cold water to cool, set aside
Preheat oven to 350•
Preheat a medium sauté pan over med-hi heat
add the ground sausage, chop up while cooking and cook until no longer pink, drain the fat then set aside and let cool

In a large mixing bowl add the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, eggs, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, basil, salt and pepper, mix all ingredients well

Place the cooled sausage on a cutting board and chop until there are no large chunks
Add the sausage to the cheese mixture and mix until well blended

Grease two 9 by 13 oven safe dishes and add a cup of pasta sauce to coat the bottom of each dish
Spoon the meat/cheese mixture into each shell until just full and place the shell stuffed side up in the dish
When finished stuffing all of the shells top each one with the remaining pasta sauce and the mozzarella cheese
Bake uncovered for 25-30 minutes

Yield  about 10 adults
Cut the recipe in half it will yield 4-6 adults

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