I’ve been really into baked pastas lately. Besides my standby mac & cheese recipe, I’ve been experimenting with tossing pasta in the oven with all kinds of different meats, veggies and sauces, and the results are always tasty. Yesterday I was wondering aloud what to make for dinner and a friend suggested stuffed shells. Here’s what I came up with.
1 package of giant pasta shells
2 sweet Italian sausages
1 tub of ricotta (475g)
1.5 cups shredded Asiago
1 can diced tomatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 stalks of basil leaves, chiffonade
First, get a pot of salted water boiling for the shells. Boil the shells for 1 or 2 minutes less than recommended on the package, drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
Put a bit of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Remove sausage from the casings, crumble (as well as you can crumble raw pork), and add to the pan once it is hot. Use a spoon/spatula to break apart the sausage more as it cooks.
Chop the leek into thin slices, and mince the garlic.
Once the sausage is almost cooked through (there should be very little pink meat left), add the leeks to the pan. Stir around some and break apart the layers.
Once the leeks are soft and translucent, add the garlic, along with some salt and pepper. After 2-3 minutes, remove half the contents of the pan and set aside.
Add the diced tomatoes to the remaining sausage, reduce heat to low and simmer.
Add the egg to a mixing bowl and lightly beat. Add in the ricotta, half the Asiago, salt, pepper and mix together.
Also add the sausage that you set aside and mix again.
Add about half of the tomato sauce to your baking pan and distribute so that the entire bottom surface is covered. Leave the rest simmering in the pan until you need it.
Also, if anyone has tips to help my glass cookware not look like this, please share! I love the cooking part, but cleaning sucks.
Add a spoonful of the ricotta mixture to each pasta shell and place, open side up, in the baking dish.
Yummy shells all in a row.
Add the remaining tomato sauce over the shells.
Cover in foil and bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, remove from oven and top with the remaining cheese. Bake for another 10 minutes.
Done! It doesn’t need to cool for very long before serving.
I saved the tiny basil leaves to use as a garnish.
Serve and enjoy!
- 1 package giant pasta shells
- 2 sweet Italian sausages
- 1 tub ricotta (475g)
- 1.5 cups shredded asiago
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 leek
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 2-3 stalks of basil leaves, chiffonade
- Cook pasta in salted boiling water for 1-2 minutes less than recommended on the
package, drain and set aside
- Remove sausage from casing, crumble and fry over medium heat
- Add chopped leeks to cooked sausage, cook until soft
- Add minced garlic, salt and pepper
- After 2-3 minutes, remove half the mixture and set aside to use in stuffing
- Add diced tomatoes to the pan and simmer
- Add egg to a mixing bowl and beat
- Add ricotta, half the asiago, basil, salt, pepper and the sausage. Mix together.
- Add enough of the tomato sauce to cover the bottom of a rectangular baking dish
- Add a spoonful of the stuffing mixture to each shell
- Add the stuffed shells, open side up, to the baking dish
- Cover with remaining tomato sauce
- Bake, covered in foil, at 350° for 30 minutes
- Add the rest of the shredded cheese on top and bake for an additional 10 minutes