Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Italian Stuffed Pasta Shell Recipe

This is one of mine and Sam's favorite dishes. As promised, here is my sister's recipe for Italian Stuffed Pasta Shells. Brittany is a great cook and taught me how to make this fabulous dinner when we were in college. It is a cinch and very tasty!Initial Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bring 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil.

Ingredients for Stuffed Pasta Shells
1 box Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage
1 cup Ricotta Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella Cheese

Ingredients for Sauce
1 large jar Old World Traditional Ragu Sauce
*Season to taste: minced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, freshly ground black pepper. These ingredients are optional, but I never make spagetti sauce without them!

Directions for cooking Jumbo Pasta Shells
Once the water in the pot is rapidly boiling, pour in jumbo pasta shells and boil over medium-low heat. Boil jumbo pasta shells in water until they are almost cooked. Drain and set aside. Tip: If the pasta shells are too soft they will not hold the Italian sausage and cheese mixture.

Directions for preparing Italian Sausage Mixture
Brown the spicy Italian sausage. Drain and set aside in a large bowl. In the same large bowl, add the Ricotta and Parmesan Cheese and mix together the 3 ingredients. Fill jumbo pasta shells with the mixture (measure about 1 heaping spoon for each jumbo pasta shell). Place stuffed pasta shells in a large cassrole dish and set aside.

Directions for preparing Sauce
Pour 1 large jar of Ragu Old World Traditional spagetti sauce into a large saucepan. After sauce is heated through, slowly add minced garlic, garlic powder, garlic salt, onion salt, oregano, and freshly ground black pepper to taste. **If you use fresh garlic, mince 2-3 cloves and saute in evoo before adding the spagetti sauce. After sauce is heated and seasoned to taste, pour it over the stuffed pasta shells and sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of the dish. Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes or until mozzarella cheese is melted.

This recipe serves 6-8 people. ENJOY!

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