Friday, May 18, 2012

Italian Meat Stuffed Shells

I am in love with Italian food. I love me some pasta. I can eat it every meal. In fact, I feel this way about Mexican food. And American food. Ok you are seeing a pattern here. I just love food. Pasta is easy to make and comforting. Throw a sauce on the stove, let it simmer and you can have a comforting dinner. In tonight's case I am cutting corners. I bought the sauce and am stuffing the shells with meat so The Ballplayer will love it. And I have to add that he loves this dish!! I am using barely any cheese (in The Fireman's standard!) And even better you will love that this recipe makes not one meal but two. So you eat tonight and freeze a tray for later or give a tray away. I always have a friend that needs dinner and wouldn't you love to get a tray of this? One tray easily feeds a family of four. Just add a salad.


Italian Meat Stuffed Shells
2 pounds lean Hamburger
1 package links sweet Italian Turkey sausage (the ones in casing) 3 links
1 small red onion diced
3 cloves garlic diced
1 box of Barilla Jumbo Shells
1 16 oz block of mozzarella (I bought it at Albertsons)
1 15 oz container whole milk ricota cheese
1 TB Italian seasoning
3 jars Classico Traditional Sweet Basil Spaghetti Sauce


First things first, dice up one small onion. I always buy red onions but if you have white or yellow it is just as good. And dice up your garlic.
So get your Ground Beef into a large cast iron pan. You could use any pan but I am in love with my cast iron pan. This was a jumbo pack of hamburger that I took three hamburgers out of one night. This is what was left. It is about 2 pounds left.
Some how I came up with turkey italian sausage. Now I didnt use all of it bcause I was afraid that it would be too greasy. I only used 3 links.
Take the sausage out of the casing and add to the pan
Break all the meat up and add the onion and garlic. Lightly season with salt and pepper. I say lightly because you have sausage in the pan and I find that it tends to be salty
Get a pan of water boiling and add the shells to it
Cook to the directions. I think they need to cook for 10 minutes, and do not over cook as you will be cooking in the oven with sauce
ok so the meat is cooked, add to a very large bowl
add 1 cup of grated mozzarella to the bowl
Dump the whole dub of ricota
Stir well
Add 1 TB Italian Seasoning
and 1/2 jar of sauce
Take a quick taste just to make sure it doesnt need pepper
Ok get your stuff in order
Ok Carefuly Open the shell
And take a rounded teaspoon of the mixture and stuff it
Oops I am getting ahead of myself! You need to Sauce the pan! Take Some sauce and cover the bottom of the pan. I am using disposable pans because I am freezing and giving away trays. Make sure you are putting a good amount of sauce in the pan.
Real spread it around. Mind you I am doing it one handed!
Ok, now place your stuffed shell in the pan.
And continue until the pan is full. It goes really quick.
I covered the shells with a quick pass of sauce
And then a drizzle of cheese
Cover with foil. Now cover with foil even if you are not giving away or freezing because if you are going to cook you will need it covered.
Cook 350 30 minute
(if you froze a pan cook 350 60 minutes)
DINNER!!!


2 comments:

Domestic Goddess said...

This looks sooo good Aricka!! I look forward to making this dish, and freezing one to make later, as I'm curious as to see how the frozen one will turn out.

Aricka, I do have a question for you tho, when cooking the frozen one, I take it you cook it frozen (not thawed), and covered for the entire 60 minutes while baking it in the oven?

Shamrocks and Shenanigans said...

Cook it covered and frozen for 60 minutes. It turned out perfect. I hope that makes sense. I popped it in the oven straight from the freezer. It was perfect.

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