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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Sausage Stuffed Shells

There's something about this recipe that just really appeals to me. I think it has to do with how cute those jumbo shells are. I love filling them with all kinds of different goodness. This is another recipe that is similar to my potato soup making... almost every time is different! In this version, I use sausage and mushrooms, but I just as often like to make a spinach and cheese version. I vary the cheese, I vary the meat, I vary the herbs, I vary the vegetables. It's all good!

This was a particularly good version, so much so that I actually wrote down what I put in and in what quantities. This is fairly easy to prepare; I find it easier than making lasagna, but just as tasty. I often prepare it when making dishes to provide to families needing a little help preparing meals... it's easy to prepare in advance, simply leaving the baking to the recipient so they can enjoy an easy, home cooked meal in their time of need.

The first step is to mix together the filling: sausage, garlic, onion, mushrooms, parsley, egg, and tarragon. Mix until well incorporated.

Boil the shells as directed on the box, except be sure to cook them al dente, because they will continue cooking in the oven and you don't want them to end up too soft. Also, be sure to boil more shells than you need, because invariably a few of them will be uncooperative and fall apart. Spoon about half a cup of sauce into the bottom of an oven safe dish. For this recipe, you need about an 8 inch dish. Stuff the filling into the shells and place them, seam up in the dish.

After all the shells are filled and placed, pour the rest of the sauce over them and sprinkle on the cheese.

Bake at 350° F for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is beautifully golden and bubbly and the meat in the shells is cooked through. You can use a thermometer for this part, if you want to be sure it's fully cooked. Shoot for an internal temperature above 160° F. Let the dish cool slightly before serving.

Sausage Stuffed Shells
Yield: 4 servings

1 box jumbo pasta shells
1/2 pound ground sausage
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, minced
2-3 large mushrooms, minced
1 tsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp tarragon, chopped
1 whole egg
1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Cook the shells until al dente and drain. This recipe fills about 14 jumbo shells, but you'll want to be sure to cook extra due to breakage. Mix all the ingredients, except for the sauce and cheese, together and stuff into the shells. Pour about 1/2 cup of sauce into the bottom of an oven safe dish. The dish should be about 8-9 inches to fit all shells. Place filled shells into dish, seam side up. Pour remaining sauce over the top and then sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, in a preheated 350° F oven for 30-40 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbly and the filling in cooked through. Let cool slightly before serving.

2 comments:

  1. The first time we made this, I wrote "double the recipe!" on the piece of paper. It's soooo good. We'll be doubling the recipe again when we make it this week.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Awww, thanks! It's so nice to hear you think it's tasty too! :-)

    ReplyDelete

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