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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Italian Stuffed Cheesy Shells

Today I am still on my Italian Cooking spree, I was even singing in my kitchen and dancing to Lady GaGa while simmering My sauce How good is that?
This is a Stuffed Pasta Shell filled with 3 kinds of cheese and a homemade sauce, (you can use jar sauce if in a big hurry) Recipe is below

First I chopped my onions and garlic up and put it in the skillet to cook,

Next I added my ground chuck to this to cook up
After that is cooked done
I put a large can of tomato sauce in my big pot and added my spices to make my Italian sauce
Then after I stirred that together
I added my cooked meat, onions and garlic to the sauce pot
Now this needs to simmer awhile, so I bring it to a boil
then turn the heat down with a lid on it to simmer for about 30 minutes
Doesn't that look good and you should smell the kitchen now
While the sauce simmers
I put a pot of water on to boil the shells, add a tsp of oil and dash of salt to the water

Once Pasta is just tender, drain and rinse to cool enough so you can stuff your shells with the cheese Mixture
The cheese alone is so delicious
Next fill your pan with shells and top with meat sauce and sprinkle a little cheese on top and pop in your oven
350 degrees for about 30 - 40 minutes

Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce:
1/2 c hamburger(I use ground chuck)
1/2 onion, chopped
4 t minced garlic
15 oz tomato puree
6 oz tomato paste
1/2 t black pepper
1 t italian seasoning
1/2 t salt(I hardly use salt)

1/2 lb ricotta
1 1/2 c mozzarella
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 c Parmesan cheese
2 t basil
Jumbo pasta shells, cooked and drained(half box will make a lot)

Brown the hamburger and onion in a large saucepan.  Once it is browned, remove the grease.  Add the remaining sauce ingredients and let it simmer for 45 minutes (or however long it takes you to get the rest ready.

Preheat the oven to 350.

Start the water for the shells.  Once the water is boiling, add the shells and cook for the minimum time listed on the package.  

Meanwhile, combine the ricotta cheese, 1 c mozzarella cheese the egg, and the Parmesan cheese.  Mix it all together. 

 Spread some of the marinara sauce on the bottom of the baking dish.  

 Scoop some of the cheese mixture into the cooked shells.  Isn't it amazing how I can hold the shell, spoon the stuff in, and take a picture?  Most of the time I forget to take Pictures while I'm working lol

 Place the stuffed shells into the baking dish.

 Top with more marinara.

 Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 c of mozzarella.

 Bake, covered,  for 30-40 minutes.  

There you have it!  You can serve it with a salad, bread, or a vegetable side dish.
We had zucchini boats tonight, so here is a link for making these.

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