We are back in Philly and I couldn’t be happier! It’s nice to travel but nothing beats coming home:) Anyhow, I wanted to share one of my favorite dishes growing up, stuffed shells! The first time I ever made them for Matt he had never had them before. He was pleasantly surprised with how delicious they were and requested them often. He even made me serve them to his Mom and Grandmother the first time they ate dinner at our place. Luckily for me, they are a fantastic and tasty…and a never fail recipe. The great thing about them is that the can be prepared in advance and can be thrown in the oven and forgotten about for an hour and come out perfectly gooey and delectable. Plus these are one of the few leftovers I actually will eat. Believe it or not, I actually think that they taste better the next day and I am typically so anti-leftover (it’s a terrible habit!).
The true funny story that accompanies these stuffed shells is that Matt had no idea I actually made them! He was under the impression–for the several times I made them–that I had bought them from the store already prepared! He was nearly shocked to come into the kitchen one night and to see me actually stuffing each individual shell. I couldn’t decide if I was offended or flattered that he thought my shells were pre made! We laugh about it every time I make them for dinner now.
This recipe is super versatile and can be made with whatever your favorite ingredients are. I typically use ground turkey as my filler but sausage, ground beef, or even pepperoni would be fantastic. I hope you give them a try and enjoy them as much as we do!
- 1 box Jumbo Shells
- 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce
- 1 lb of ground meat of your choice
- 1 15 oz container of Ricotta Cheese
- 1/4 c chopped red pepper
- 1/4 c chopped sweet onion
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese--I use mozzarella
- 1 Egg
- Fresh Basil–about 1 tbs chopped
- 2 tsp of Herbs de Provence (never heard of it? packed with savory, thyme, sage, basil among a lot of other delicious things!)
- Salt & fresh cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Cook shells according to package instructions
- While shells are cooking, preheat large skillet and coat with olive oil or cooking spray
- Sauté chopped pepper and onion until slightly tender
- Add ground meat, 2 tsp Herbs de Provence, chopped garlic, and salt & pepper
- Cook until meat it cooked through
- While meat is cooking, prepare cheese filling
- In a medium bowl, add 15 oz of ricotta, egg, and fresh basil; stir to combine
- Once shells are cooked and meat is cooked through allow to cool slightly until cool enough to handle comfortably
- Pour a thin layer of pasta sauce to the bottom of desired pan–I used a 13×9 glass pan
- Use a spoon and stuff each shell with meat mixture and then cheese mixture
- Pour remaining pasta sauce over shells and top with shredded cheese
- Cover with tin foil and bake 40-45 minutes, placing shells under broiler for the remaining 5 minutes to brown the cheese
- Serve with your favorite sides–we usually do a side salad and garlic bread and enjoy!