Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Meat and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Ever since our early dating years, this recipe has long since been a favorite of my husband's.  In fact, it was what I had fixed for dinner that Valentine's evening, oh so long ago, when he popped the question of marriage.  Since then, it's always been a special recipe to pull out occasionally when I want to shower my family with a little extra food love.  This is the recipe I alluded to when I wrote the Stuffed Spinach Rolls recipe.

This recipe makes 2 baking dishes full.  I freeze one, or give one away, and bake the other for dinner.  Add in a side of Garlic Toast and you're eatin' GOOD!

You'll need:

1 box of large shells
2 pound of ground meat - turkey, beef, chicken, Italian sausage, etc.
1 pound container of ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
Parmesan cheese
2 jars of spaghetti sauce
1 pound of shredded mozzarella

First of all, bring a pot of water to boil and cook the shells according to package directions.

While that's going, brown the meat of your choice, and drain fat.

Chop onion and add to the meat. Cook til translucent.  Pour in 2 jars of spaghetti sauce.  You can use any you like.  I prefer our homemade sauce, but any you like is fine!

In bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, about a 1/4 cup of parm cheese, garlic powder, about a 1/4 tsp of basil and oregano, and about a 1/2 cup of mozzerella.  Mix up well.

In a baking dish, add just enough sauce to cover the bottom.

Spoon a tablespoon of cheese mixture into each shell, followed by a spoonful of meat sauce.

I use a slotted spoon so that there is less sauce and more meat to spoon into the shell.

Set into the pan with open side up.  Squeeze as many as you can into your pan.

Cover with meat sauce.

Top with shredded Mozzarella Cheese.

Bake at 350 for 45 minutes, or until cheese to brown and bubbly to your liking.


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