Italian Stuffed Shells

Posted by Lindsey On 1:55 PM

Surprisingly I have never made stuffed shells, my mom use to make them all the time as I was growing up, I saw this recipe on the food network and thought I would try it out. I made half with spinach and half without, Ben isn't a fan. They turned out fabulous and we have lots of leftovers, which we will enjoy for tonight's dinner. I didn't make the basic red sauce which the recipe lists, I used a jarred sauce instead.

Italian Super Stuffed Shells
Recipe by Emeril




Ingredients

* 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 (12-ounce) box jumbo pasta shells (18 to 20 shells)
* 2 cups finely chopped onion
* 2 teaspoons minced garlic
* 1 pound ground veal
* 1 (10-ounce) package frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
* 15 ounces ricotta cheese
* 2 large eggs
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1 teaspoon Essence, recipe follows
* 1 teaspoon dried basil
* 1 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
* Basic Red Sauce, recipe follows

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 2-quart casserole dish with 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add 1 teaspoon of the salt and the pasta shells, and cook until al dente, 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally with a long-handled spoon to prevent the shells from sticking together. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Drain.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until very soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the ground veal and cook, stirring, until cooked and browned. Add the squeezed spinach and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Add the spinach mixture, the extra-virgin olive oil, Essence, remaining teaspoon of salt, the basil, oregano, and pepper, and stir to combine thoroughly. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the spinach-ricotta filling into each cooked pasta shell. Place the filled shells in the prepared dish.

Pour the Basic Red Sauce over the filled shells and top with the remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Essence (Emeril's Creole Seasoning):

* 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
* 2 tablespoons salt
* 2 tablespoons garlic powder
* 1 tablespoon black pepper
* 1 tablespoon onion powder
* 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
* 1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano
* 1 tablespoon dried thyme

Combine all ingredients thoroughly and store in an airtight jar or container.

Yield: about 2/3 cup

Basic Red Sauce:

* 2 teaspoons olive oil
* 1/2 chopped yellow onion
* 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
* 16 ounces whole peeled tomatoes, broken into pieces, and their juices
* 16 ounces tomato sauce
* 4 teaspoons tomato paste
* 2/3 cup water
* 1/2 teaspoon sugar

In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt, basil, oregano, and pepper, and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, and sugar and stir well. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened and fragrant, 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to use.

Yield: 3 cups

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2 Response to "Italian Stuffed Shells"

  1. krindone Said,

    Looks great!

     

  2. Cindy Said,

    I just stuffed some shells awhile back, I used the small scoop for cookies to put the spinach filling into the shells. It worked great. I did not like the recipe I used, this one looks good.