Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stuffed Shells

I love stuffed shells! I've never made them before, but my sister in law made me some many years ago and I remember thinking I should get the recipe - but I never did. Then my mother-in-law made some when we were visiting over the Holidays and they were great! I had ordered some frozen ones from Schwans and used some Homemade Spaghetti Sauce with them a couple weeks ago and wanted to try them from scratch this time.

The only major change I made to the original recipe is that I browned 1 pound of ground beef with a large onion, diced, and then added a can of spaghetti sauce to that. I let that simmer for about an hour before moving forward with the rest of the recipe. I added a little Italian seasoning and some garlic powder to the sauce after taste testing. I only had about 3 cups of ricotta (used instead of cottage cheese), so I scaled back the mozzarella, Parmesan  etc. as well. I used a 12 oz box of large stuffed shells, and was able to fit all but 4 of them into a 9x13 baking dish. I replaced the parsley and oregano with Italian seasoning.

These came out pretty good, Kenneth and Kent both really enjoyed it. I would make a couple changes next time though. I thought the filling needed more seasoning and less egg, and it wasn't "saucy" enough for me, so I'd increase that as well. Other than that, this is a great recipe to tweak to your preferences!

All the ingredients for the shells - mozzarella, Parmesan, eggs
garlic powder, and Italian seasoning.
Spaghetti sauce - 1 can of spaghetti sauce with 1 lb ground
beef, 1 large onion diced, and some Italian seasoning
and garlic powder.
Ricotta cheese, grated Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese.
All the filling ingredients ready to be mixed together.
Filling ingredients all blended together!
Pasta shells ready to be filled.
Shells, stuffed and ready for spaghetti sauce!
9x13 pan, ready for the oven

Stuffed Shells I by SALLYJUN on Allrecipes.com

Ingredients
1 (16 ounce) package jumbo pasta shells
4 cups large curd cottage cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 pinch garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 (26 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Cook shells according to package directions. Place in cold water to stop cooking. Drain.
  2. Mix together cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, eggs, and garlic powder. Rub the dried herbs in the palms of your hands to pulverize them, and stir into the cheese mixture. Stuff mixture into the shells.
  3. Spread 1/3 of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of a 15 x 10 inch pan. Place shells open side up, and close together in pan. Spread remaining sauce over top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes, or until bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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