Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Meat Sauce



Here is a recipe that takes a little bit of work, but makes a wonderful meal.  The jumbo shells are stuffed with three different kinds of cheese (delicious!), and the topped with a great meat sauce that you can customize based on what is in your cupboard!


We had this with some biscuits, but it would also be amazing with a side salad and garlic bread for a complete meal.


I found this recipe on thepioneerwoman.com, but since it makes such a large meal I halved it.  I have my modifications listed below, but if you are looking for the original recipe it can be found here.


On the next cold Sunday, make this meal!




Cheesy Stuffed Pasta Shells with Meat Sauce
  • 20 - 24 jumbo pasta shells
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 - 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 - 3 links italian sausage (casing removed)
  • 1/3 cup red wine
  • 398 mL can crushed tomatoes
  • 213 mL can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp parsley
  • 500 g ricotta cheese
  • 100 g parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup romano cheese, grated 
  • 1 egg
  • 6 - 8 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp parsely
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 - 3 basil leaves chopped
  1. Cook the pasta shells in boiling water for about 8 minutes, remove from heat, rinse and drain (they will not be fully cooked)
  2. In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil and then add the diced onion and garlic
  3. Cook for a couple minutes until onions begin to soften
  4. Add the italian sausage and break it up as it cooks
  5. When the sausage is fully cooked, pour in the red wine and let it simmer for a couple minutes
  6. Add the two cans of tomatoes and the parsley, and stir well. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste
  7. Let the sauce cook for about 30 to 45 minutes at a simmer (stirring every so often)
  8. Preheat the oven to 350 F
  9. While the sauce is simmering, mix together the ricotta, parmesan, and romano cheeses
  10. Add the egg, salt, pepper, basil, and parsley to the cheese mixture, and mix well
  11. Fill the shells with the cheese mixture (but do not overfill, you want to be able to close the shells)
  12. When the sauce is ready, pour some on the bottom of your baking dish
  13. Place the shells seam side down onto the sauce, and then cover the shells with the remaining sauce
  14. Sprinkle on the remaining parmesan and basil, then bake for about 20 to 25 minutes
  15. Enjoy!

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