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Old 04-16-2015, 09:05 PM   #1
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Stuffed pasta shells

A couple of folks asked me to post this, so here it is. I don't remember the source, so I can't credit it....I think I found it on Pinterest a few years ago and adapted it to my liking.

Stuffed Pasta Shells
1 package jumbo pasta shells (about 36 shells)
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage (I used 4 links of Hillshire Farms and de-cased them)
2 cloves garlic
1 large egg
1 container whole or part-skim ricotta cheese (if you don't like ricotta, use cottage cheese....or adapt it to whatever cheese you like)
1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
3/4 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 c. shredded mozzarella (I bought pre-shredded for this...worked fine - reserve some for topping)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 jar marinara sauce (I used Bertolli with basil)

350F oven.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta shells and cook according to package instructions. Drain in a colander; rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain shells on paper towels.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat; add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking up into smaller bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat. (I lightly pulsed this mixture in the blender, so there wouldn't be large pieces of sausage).

Beat egg in a large bowl; stir in ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and the sausage mixture until blended. Fill pasta shells with mixture.

Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish. Arrange stuffed shells in dish. Spread remaining marinara over pasta shells. Cover dish with foil; bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella and return to oven for a couple of minutes, or put it under the broiler for a minute or so.

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Old 04-16-2015, 09:17 PM   #2
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Yummy! Thanks Cheryl!
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:27 PM   #3
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Oh, I forgot to say it freezes well. Thank goodness for that, because I live alone and love to have reheatable dinners in the freezer.

Frozen stuffed pasta in vacuum bag, and reheated with new marinara and cheese.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Yummy! Thanks Cheryl!
You're welcome, Dawg.
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Old 04-16-2015, 10:45 PM   #5
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Thank you, Cheryl! They look great, but I have know idea when I'll try them. Still, they'll be on the back burner of my mind.
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Old 04-17-2015, 04:00 PM   #6
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Looks and sounds wonderful Cheryl, and thanks. I've got the hungers for something Italian!
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:34 PM   #7
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Shells are one of my favorite things to make a bunch of and freeze, makes such a quick and tasty dinner!

I usually do just cheese, but I really like the idea of putting sausage in them. Thanks for the recipe!
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:22 PM   #8
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Thank you Kay, CG, and bakechef!

BC, I had stuffed manicotti at a little restaurant on the beach a few years ago and just loved it. I remember how the Italian sausage was ground so fine inside those babies, that you got a taste of the sausage, spinach and cheeses in every bite. When I make stuffed pasta shells now, I pulse the cooked sausage in the blender to try to replicate that.

It really is worth it to devote an afternoon to making and stuffing pasta shells, and freezing them for several meals later on.
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Old 04-17-2015, 09:32 PM   #9
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Every time my daughter makes stuffed shells or manicotti, she sends me four. She knows that is all I can eat. I just don't have the heart to tell her I don't like ricotta cheese. So I give them to Pirate to eat.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:49 PM   #10
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The blender for the cooked sausage is a great idea. When making my spaghetti sauce, it annoys me that the ground beef cooks up finer than the sausage. Yep, it's a texture thing.

I don't like ricotta cheese either, and cottage cheese is an easy substitute if you make your own. Addie, in all fairness to your daughter you should tell her. Personally, I'd be ticked off if I knew what you did with my food gifts. Jus sayin...
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Stuffed pasta shells A couple of folks asked me to post this, so here it is. I don't remember the source, so I can't credit it....I think I found it on Pinterest a few years ago and adapted it to my liking. [B]Stuffed Pasta Shells[/B] 1 package jumbo pasta shells (about 36 shells) 2 tbsp. olive oil 1/2 c. finely chopped onion 3/4 lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage [COLOR=red](I used 4 links of Hillshire Farms and de-cased them)[/COLOR] 2 cloves garlic 1 large egg 1 container whole or part-skim ricotta cheese [COLOR=red](if you don't like ricotta, use cottage cheese....or adapt it to whatever cheese you like)[/COLOR] 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 3/4 c. grated fresh Parmesan cheese 1 c. shredded mozzarella [COLOR=red](I bought pre-shredded for this...worked fine - reserve some for topping)[/COLOR] 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper 1 jar marinara sauce [COLOR=red](I used Bertolli with basil)[/COLOR] 350F oven. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; add pasta shells and cook according to package instructions. Drain in a colander; rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Drain shells on paper towels. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat; add onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage, breaking up into smaller bits. Cook, stirring frequently, until sausage is no longer pink. Add garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove pan from heat. [COLOR=red](I lightly pulsed this mixture in the blender, so there wouldn't be large pieces of sausage).[/COLOR] Beat egg in a large bowl; stir in ricotta, spinach, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan cheese, mozzarella, salt, pepper, and the sausage mixture until blended. Fill pasta shells with mixture. Spread 1 cup of the marinara sauce over the bottom of a 3-quart baking dish. Arrange stuffed shells in dish. Spread remaining marinara over pasta shells. Cover dish with foil; bake for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly. Remove foil; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella and return to oven for a couple of minutes, or put it under the broiler for a minute or so. 3 stars 1 reviews
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