Thursday, March 4, 2010

Stuffed Shells... It's what's for dinner!!

I've created a new recipe to add to the recipe box!! The hubby and in-laws were very happy with the results of the stuffed shells, so we'll definitely be having them again one day.
  • One box of jumbo shells
  • Large container (2pds) of Ricotta Cheese
  • I had 2 small jars of spaghetti sauce (or 1 large jar, flavor is preference)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 pds of Ground Beef
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (2 - 2cup bags)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh or dried parsley flakes (I used dried)
  • Pinch of fresh garlic
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

First, you want to brown the meat in a sauce pan. Drain meat and add tomato sauce. I add salt, pepper, dab of crushed garlic, and dried basil. While the sauce was cooking I boiled the shells. I add salt and olive oil to the water I boil the pasta in. Salt adds flavor to the bland noodles and the oil keeps them from sticking.
Before I added the sauce to the meat I set aside about a cup of meat that I added to the cheese mixture.

In a large bowl crack and scramble two eggs. Add the ricotta cheese and mix thoroughly. I added a handful of the shredded mozz cheese in to the ricotta cheese. Added a couple tablespoons of the dried parsley (I just guessed based upon when I thought it looked like enough). You just want to be able to see the green specs in the cheese. I also added Parmesan cheese and the meat and stirred it all together. I wanted meat and cheese in my shells not just in the tomato sauce. What can I say... We're fans of meat around here!

After the cheese mixture was ready, I set up an assembly line to stuff my shells! Before adding the layer of shells in the 9x13 lightly greased pan, I put a thin layer of meat sauce on the bottom of the dish.

After I layered the pan with the shells I sprinkled a thin layer of the shredded mozz cheese all over the shells. I then added the remainer of the meat sauce to the top of the shells. This actually made enough to make another 1/2 pan of stuffed shells that we put in the freezer for another night. If you make this much just make sure you put a piece of saran wrap right over the sauce pushed down firmly and then a piece of Reynolds wrap. This will keep it fresh and prevent freezer burn.
Cook on 350 for 30-40 minutes until bubbly & Enjoy! I broil mine the last minute or two to make the cheese nice and brown and yummy looking! :)

Right out of the oven!

I made a little salad bar to go with our stuffed shells. Shredded cheese, cucumbers, tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and crispy onion straws!

The final product - served with corn & Texas Toast!