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Homemade Stuff Shells

by Middleeastsector
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Homemade Stuffed Shells. This Italian classic is the epitome of comfort food, with tender pasta shells brimming with a rich, cheesy filling and smothered in marinara sauce. Perfect for any occasion, this dish brings a touch of Italy to your dining table.

Résumé of the Recipe: Homemade Stuffed Shells are a delightful combination of jumbo pasta shells stuffed with a creamy ricotta and spinach filling, topped with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella. This easy-to-make dish is perfect for weeknight dinners or special gatherings, offering a hearty and satisfying meal that’s sure to please everyone.

Exciting Story: I still remember the first time I made these stuffed shells for my family. It was a chilly Sunday afternoon, and we were all in need of some warm, comforting food. As the aroma of bubbling marinara and melting cheese filled the kitchen, my kids gathered around, eagerly waiting for dinner. When I finally served the dish, the look of delight on their faces was priceless. Since then, it’s become a tradition to make these stuffed shells whenever we want to enjoy a cozy, delicious meal together.

Why These Homemade Stuffed Shells?

Selling Points:

  • Rich and Creamy Filling: The ricotta and spinach filling is both creamy and nutritious.
  • Comforting and Satisfying: Perfect for a cozy family dinner or a special occasion.
  • Easy to Prepare: Simple ingredients and straightforward steps make this a go-to recipe.

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Ingredients

½ pound jumbo pasta shells
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion – finely chopped
use very generously salt and pepper
3 cloves garlic – minced
1 pound ground beef
2 tablespoon italian herbs
2 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cups ricotta – or cottage cheese
1 cup mozzarella – shredded plus more for topping
½ cup parmesan cheese – grated plus more for topping
1 egg – beaten

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F (175 C).

Cook the pasta in boiling water for about 1 minute less than the package suggests. Drain and run cool water over the shells. (to keep the shells from sticking together, I added about 1 tablespoon olive oil to the water, and stirred them gently often.)

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, generously add salt and pepper and sauté until softened – about 4 – 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.

Add the beef and cook until browned, breaking it up as it cooks. When the beef is almost cooked through, sprinkle the Italian herbs over it and stir in about 1 cup of the spaghetti sauce, then remove from heat.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan and egg – mix together well, then mix into the beef mixture.

Grease a 9″ x13″ baking dish and spread the remaining sauce evenly in the bottom. Spoon the filling carefully into each shell and arrange them on the sauce, then sprinkle with additional mozzarella and parmesan cheese.

Bake for about 25 – 30 minutes, or until heated through.

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