Italian Stuffed Shells
Crusty bubbly cheese. You can safely put that on pretty much everyone's list of deliciousness. Even the pickiest of eaters are pleased with this topping. Now that I think of it a cheesy filling isn't anything to sneeze at either. One of my favorite meals just happens to involve both. Everyone has a stuffed shells recipe and they are all pretty tasty. My favorite thing about this one is there is meat in the filling too. It gives it just a little something extra. If you want to speed up the process, you can substitute jarred tomato sauce for the sauce ingredients.
If you are making this as a vegetarian meal, you can leave it out but I highly discourage it. This serves about 6 to 8 average servings (or at least in gingerlock's land) perfectly with a nice salad and some crusty bread. The leftovers even freeze beautifully if you are taking it to someone who just had a baby or you are on a streak of generosity. If that's the case, make two. You won't be sorry!
1 lb of ground beef
1lb Italian Sausage
2 Cups of Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Cup Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 large can of crushed tomatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 Tbs Italian Seasoning
1 Tbs garlic salt
1 tsp sugar
1 lb box of jumbo shells
First, bring a very large pot of water to a boil before you begin. Cook the shells until they are a bit under done. They should be cooked through but not too floppy.
First, brown the meats together over medium heat until it's well browned. I added a bit of salt and pepper in here as well.
Combine all the filling ingredients and add in just half of the browned meat. Stir this really well. If it seems really stiff a splash of milk or even the pasta water will help you combine it all.
Add the sauce ingredients to the ground meat. Continue to let this simmer over medium heat until the pasta is ready to be filled.
When the shells are tender, fill them with the cheese mixture. I usually used a small spoon, but whatever method works for you is great. Put a 1/2 cup layer of sauce in a 9 X13 pan.
Arrange the shells in a somewhat squished pattern so they won't dry out.Then cover them with all the sauce.
Sprinkle the Mozarella Cheese over the top and bake at 350 degrees for about 30 to 50 minutes or until it bubbles in the center.