Monday, March 7, 2011

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Before we get to the recipe, I have some exciting news. Well, it's exciting to me. Ok, so, I enter an insane amount of giveaways on different blogs, thinking the odds are so outrageous that I'm never going to win. Last week, I entered a giveaway on I {heart} Naptime. This was one giveaway that I really wanted to win. It was for a Light Scoop. Something that I could benefit from greatly. So, I just went about my way, and said that's what I wanted for my birthday if I didn't win. Low and behold...I WON!!!! I am so freakin excited that I actually let out a baby! I cannot wait to get it. This Light Scoop is going to help me get WAY better pictures of my food and crafts inside at night, which is when I do most of my crafting and cooking and baking. YAY!!!!

Ok, back to normal programming...

I discovered Pioneer Woman a few months ago. Where have I been? She has some amazing stuff! We made this for dinner for Valentine's Day. I already had something picked out, but when I came across this, I scratched the idea and went with these shells. Not a decision I regretted. They were totally yummy, and I recommend trying them...tonight! This isn't a sissy pasta meal. My hubby even loved it. He asked for thirds. So, that's a winner in my book!

Just a few things:
There was a TON of ricotta mixture left over, and I STUFFED the shells. I had boiled more pasta just to make sure. I had enough ricotta to make a small extra dish, and still had at least half the ricotta left over. I would suggest halving the ricotta mixture.

I didn't have, nor was I able to find Romano cheese. So, I just used Parmesan in place of it. I also used dried basil. 

On her blog, she said that breakfast sausage would be fine, and that's what I used. Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage. And it turned out great. I love how this recipe is versatile in the fact that you can use any kind of meat really. Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, hamburger, ground turkey, ground chicken, etc. 

8 ounces, weight jumbo pasta shells
30 ounces, weight whole milk ricotta cheese
8 ounces, weight Parmesan cheese, grated, divided
½ cups grated Romano cheese
1 whole egg
12 leaves basil, chiffonade
2 Tbsp minced parsley
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ whole medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ lb. Italian sausage
½ cup red wine
1 whole 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 whole 15 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
½ tsp salt
2 Tbsp minced parsley

Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for a minute or two. Add Italian sausage and brown, breaking it up into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.
Pour in cans of crushed tomatoes and stir. Add sugar and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check for seasonings; can add crushed red peppers if you like a little heat.
In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper, basil, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Stir until combined.
To assemble, coat the bottom of a baking dish with sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Repeat with shells until cheese mixture is gone. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on extra Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.
Serve with crusty French bread.

1 comment:

  1. Good stuff here!! My husband would run me down if there was a plate of these on the otherside. :) Thank you for sharing your delishish dish by linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please remember tomorrow is another fun blog bash, so drop by and link up more of your tasty creations! :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag