On to beef and desserts for this week’s menu planning. I decided to create a fun dish while my niece was here visiting for a couple of days. I always see fun recipes using jumbo pasta shells. When I told my family what we were having for dinner the whole jumbo pasta shells threw them for a loop. “What are those” they asked. The best way to explain these shells are huge mac and cheese shells.
I did a classic stuffed pasta shell with beef, cheese, mushrooms, onions and lots of tomato sauce. I think I may have even given some restaurants in Italy a run for their money. Ok I might be pushing that statement just a little but I sure did come close.
Everyone had a blast stuffing the shells and even more so eating them hot out of the oven. There are so many different combinations that you can make with the pasta and I can’t wait to see where I take the next recipe. You could even make these and freeze for dinner on another night. Sometimes those are the best meals for any family.
Stuffed Jumbo Pasta Shells
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
2 15oz. can tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1 lb. ground beef
1 cup cooked spinach
1 15oz. container lowfat ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp pepper
1 12oz. box jumbo shells, cooked according to package
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Heat butter in large sauté pan over medium heat.
Add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender.
Add garlic, tomato sauce, salt and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes.
In another sauté pan cook ground beef until brown and drain juices.
Add the cooked spinach to the beef and stir.
In a large bowl add eggs and ricotta cheese and mix with hand blender until smooth.
Stir in the mozzarella, parmesan cheese, salt, parsley and pepper.
Add the meat and cheese stuffing together and mix well.
Pour 1/2 tomato sauce in bottom of casserole dish.
Stuff each jumbo shell and place side by side in dish.
Pour the rest of the tomato sauce over the top of shells.
Bake for 30 minutes uncovered and in last 5 minutes sprinkle parmesan cheese over shells.
TIP - Place cooked noodles in COLD water right before use to prevent noodles sticking to each other