Friday, April 5, 2013

Stuffed Pasta Shells with Meat Ragu

Yum

Last week it snowed. I know it's supposed to be spring, but we still got snow and the entire family was "snowed in" at home.  I decided to make something hearty and comforting for lunch.  These stuffed shells fit the bill because my family loves pasta.  I loved how impressive the dish looked when it came out of the oven.  I thought stuffing all the pasta shells would be a pain, but it was pretty easy and quick.  I will definitely need to buy another box of these large shells and the next time I make them.... I hope it's warm and sunny outside. :)


Ingredients:
3 tablespoons Olive Oil, divided
6-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided
2 medium onions, finely chopped, divided
Salt and pepper (to taste)
2 tsp dried oregano
1-2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or to taste
1 Tbs dried basil  or a large handful fresh basil minced
1-2 tsp brown sugar (to taste)
1lb of lean ground meat (beef, chicken or pork)
1lb box of large size pasta shells
1 jar favorite pasta sauce (45oz bottle)
1 cup chicken broth or bullion and water equivalent  
1lb bag frozen chopped spinach, defrosted
Freshly grated nutmeg, about 1/4 teaspoon
3 cups fresh cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg lightly beaten
8oz of shredded mozzarella cheese


Directions:
To make the meat sauce:

Brown lean ground meat (I used ground chicken) with medium onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic finely chopped in two tablespoons of olive oil.







Season meat with:
* Salt and pepper to taste
*  dried oregano
* crushed red pepper flakes
* dried basil
* brown sugar


 Add 1 jar favorite pasta sauce and one cup of chicken broth (I just measured the broth  in the pasta jar so I could rinse all the sauce out of the jar)






 Simmer the sauce on medium heat for 10 minutes.  Taste the sauce for seasoning.








To make the pasta shells layer:
Boil the pasta shells until they are 1 minute shy of al dente. The pasta will finish cooking with the other ingredients in the oven.
Next defrost your spinach and wring it dry.  Then saute 1 medium onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil. Added spinach, grated nutmeg and season with a little salt and black pepper. Allow to cool a little before proceeding.


When the spinach mixture has cooled down, mix in the ricotta cheese and Parmesan mixture and egg.





 
Now fill the pasta shells with the spinach/cheese filling.  Place over 2/3 of the pasta sauce in a baking dish.  Top shells with remaining 1/3 of meat sauce and shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.  Serve hot.  Enjoy.





Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

13 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about making this for dinner on Saturday. Now I have a recipe. Perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  2. looks fabulous and flavorful pasta...

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow...your pictures look heavenly! You are making me want pasta for breakfast...:)

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks like some wonderful comfort food!

    ReplyDelete
  5. oh yum! I would eat all them. I LOVE pasta and stuffed shells...oh my!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hopefully spring has finally come, I can't handle anymore snowM. These shells look like they would be perfect for a snowy afternoon. I love stuffed shells!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I LOVE stuffed shells! When I was little they were like one of my favorite things to eat. This sounds like a fantastic recipe, can't wait to try :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is one of Katie's favorite dishes! Your recipe is PERFECT! At least there's no snow this weekend :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oooo no you got snow?!? :( I am so sorry my friend. Well at least everyone got to dig into these shells as a result! They look delicious and I've always wanted to try stuffing my own shells - yum!

    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  10. Making them now for my Granddaughters 21 birthday dinner. She loves them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy them.!! Happy Birthday to your granddaughter. :)

      Delete

Please leave a comment, we love to hear from you....