Monday, February 14, 2011

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce

Sorry about the long name, all I can say is it wasn't me who named it, it is another one of Ree's. I was accused of getting all fancy when I made this. I have been kind of bored with my canned spaghetti sauce and was looking for a new one that didn't sound to difficult. I think I may have found it.

Start your water boiling for the pasta shells.

Brown a half a pound of Italian sausage with a half a chopped onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. Then add in a half a cup of red wine. You can use cooking wine or any red you may have sitting around. Should you be required to open a new bottle, all the better.
Add in your crushed (or diced) tomatoes, a little sugar and a bit of salt. Cover this and simmer for about half an hour.
About now, your water should be boiling, so add in your pasta shells. It is important that you only cook them for half the time. You want them firm enough that you can get them stuffed.

Mix a large container of ricotta, half your parmesan and some romano (or in my case, the Italian blend) cheeses with an egg, salt, pepper and basil.
By this time, your sauce has simmered to perfection, so add about half of it to the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan.

Once your shells have cooled a little bit, stuff them with a heaping tablespoon of the cheese mixture.
Place each shell open side down on top of the sauce. I easily fit 20 shells into my pan.
Cover those with the remaining sauce.
And sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan cheese.
Bake at 350 for about half an hour.

This sauce is insanely delicious. I am so using more wine in my cooking from now on.

I ended up with a few extra shells and a little bit of extra filling. I think this would freeze well, so I am trying that and I will try to remember to let you know how it all worked out.

While this is not really something you can throw together on a weeknight, it is perfect for a lazy Saturday afternoon (or in my case, yet another Snow Day).

Everyone loved this. I barely had any leftovers to take for lunch the next day.

Click here for Printable Recipe

Three Cheese-Stuffed Shells with Meaty Tomato Sauce
20 Jumbo Pasta Shells
30 ounces, Whole Milk Ricotta Cheese
8 ounces, Parmesan Cheese, Grated, Divided
½ cups Grated Romano Cheese
1 whole Egg
1 teaspoon chopped Basil
Salt And Pepper, to taste
½ whole Medium Onion, Chopped
2 cloves Garlic, Minced
½ pounds Italian Sausage
½ cups Red Wine
2 cans Diced Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Sugar
½ teaspoons Salt
Cook pasta shells for half the cooking time; make sure not to overcook. Drain and rinse in cool water. Set aside.
Brown Italian sausage with onions and garlic. Break the sausage into small pieces as it cooks. Pour in red wine and let it cook for a minute or two.
Add 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.
In a separate bowl, mix ricotta, half the Parmesan, Romano, egg, salt and pepper and basil. Stir until combined.
Coat the bottom of a baking dish with about half the sauce. Fill each half-cooked shell with the cheese mixture. Place face down on the sauce. Top shells with remaining sauce. Sprinkle on remaining Parmesan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

No comments: