Nov112009

Stuffed Pasta Shells

shells1

I’ve been making these stuffed pasta shells for about eight years now. You can use all beef or all turkey, but having tried both I prefer the combination. You can also use homemade pasta sauce, which works really well, but if you don’t have it on hand the jarred kind can be tasty, too.

The recipe below makes about 30 shells, or two casserole dishes-worth. My family of five gets through about a pan and a half, and the rest go in the fridge for leftovers. If you don’t have that many people to feed it halves very easily.

Stuffed Pasta Shells

30 jumbo pasta shells (or one 12 oz box)
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 closed finely chopped garlic
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground turkey
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
1 26.5 oz can spaghetti sauce (or about 3 cups of homemade sauce)

Cook shells according to package directions. Drain and set aside to cool a little. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt butter in a large skillet and saute onion and garlic until tender. Add turkey and beef and cook until browned. Drain and mix in basil, oregano and 2 cups of the cheese (it’ll be very cheesy and stringy – perfect!).

Spread about half a cup of spaghetti sauce in the bottom of each 9×13″ casserole dish. Stuff cooked shell with the meat and cheese mixture and place meat-side down in the casserole dish. Spoon remaining sauce over top. Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove foil, add remaining cheese over top and cook for an additional six or so minutes or until cheese is melted.

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